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Tags: new york times | open ai | microsoft | ai | copyright

NY Times Sues OpenAI, Microsoft for Copyright Infringement

By    |   Wednesday, 27 December 2023 11:15 AM EST

The New York Times filed a lawsuit against OpenAI and Microsoft on Wednesday, alleging copyright infringement for the tech companies' use of the news outlet's published work to train artificial intelligence.

The suit, filed in Federal District Court in Manhattan, claims that millions of articles published by the Times were used to train chatbots, which have subsequently become competition for the newspaper's readership.

The Times is reportedly the first major U.S. media organization to sue the ChatGPT creators over the copyrights to its written works.

While an exact monetary amount in damages is not stated in the complaint, it does say the defendants should be held responsible for "billions of dollars in statutory and actual damages" stemming from the "unlawful copying and use of The Times's uniquely valuable works."

The Times also is seeking the destruction of chatbot models and training data that pull from its copyrighted material.

The suit could help shape the legal perimeters of generative AI technologies and could have implications for the news industry.

OpenAI and other AI tech companies use a broad range of online texts to train chatbots and are drawing billions in funding, with OpenAI now valued at more than $80 billion.

Microsoft reportedly has poured $13 billion into OpenAI and has included the company's technology into Bing, its search engine.

"Defendants seek to free-ride on The Times's massive investment in its journalism," the complaint says, and accuses OpenAI and Microsoft of "using The Times's content without payment to create products that substitute for The Times and steal audiences away from it."

According to the Times, the defendants have not yet responded in court.

Wednesday's lawsuit comes as negotiations between the Times, OpenAI, and Microsoft came to a standstill.

In the complaint, the Times said it expressed concerns about the use of its intellectual property to Microsoft and OpenAI in April and had been working to find "an amicable resolution," but the talks didn't yield a resolution.

One example detailed in the suit showed how AI technology uses the Times' material. The Microsoft search feature Browse With Bing, which is powered by ChatGPT, came up with nearly verbatim results from the Times product review site Wirecutter. But the results from Bing did not link to the Wirecutter story and did not include the referral links that Wirecutter uses to generate commissions.

"Decreased traffic to Wirecutter articles and, in turn, decreased traffic to affiliate links subsequently lead to a loss of revenue for Wirecutter," the complaint reads.

In filing the lawsuit, the Times is also aiming to protect its brand from AI "hallucinations," which occur when chatbots provide false information that is incorrectly attributed to a source. The news outlet cited several instances where Microsoft's Bing Chat provided wrong information that ostensibly came from the Times.

"If The Times and other news organizations cannot produce and protect their independent journalism, there will be a vacuum that no computer or artificial intelligence can fill," the complaint states. "Less journalism will be produced, and the cost to society will be enormous."

The lawsuit by the Times also argues that the use of its intellectual property by chatbots may result in reduced web traffic on its site and therefore less advertising and subscription revenue.

The Times has hired the law firm Susman Godfrey as its lead outside counsel for the case. The firm represented Dominion Voting Systems in its defamation case against Fox News, which was settled in April for $787.5 million.

Susman also filed a proposed class action lawsuit last month against OpenAI and Microsoft on behalf of nonfiction authors whose copyrighted works were used by the companies to train chatbots.

Nicole Wells

Nicole Wells, a Newsmax general assignment reporter covers news, politics, and culture. She is a National Newspaper Association award-winning journalist.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Newsfront
The New York Times filed a lawsuit against OpenAI and Microsoft on Wednesday, alleging copyright infringement for the tech companies' use of the news outlet's published work to train artificial intelligence.
new york times, open ai, microsoft, ai, copyright
605
2023-15-27
Wednesday, 27 December 2023 11:15 AM
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