The New York Times Sues OpenAI and Microsoft Over Copyright Infringement

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In Short
  • The New York Times has sued OpenAI and Microsoft, its major financial partner, over the use of its valuable journalistic work without paying any licensing fee.
  • The NYT is seeking "billions" in damages from OpenAI and Microsoft for training AI models using their original work.
  • The NYT had attempted to reach a negotiated deal with OpenAI in April and the following months, but it didn't succeed.

In a major development, The New York Times has filed a lawsuit against OpenAI and Microsoft for infringing its copyrighted material to train ChatGPT’s AI models. This is the first time a major American newspaper has taken on OpenAI and its major financial partner, Microsoft.

This could set a crucial precedent in how the AI industry deals with the development of Generative AI in the coming years. To learn more about the lawsuit and what the NYT is alleging, read 0n.

GPT-4 Memorizes Content Verbatim from the NYT

On December 27, 2023, The New York Times filed a lawsuit in the New York Federal District Court alleging that OpenAI used millions of Times articles to train its AI models. The Times further added that this was an unauthorized use of published work without paying any licensing fee. In the lawsuit, the NYT has demonstrated 100 examples of GPT-4 memorizing content verbatim from the Times’ articles.

GPT-4 didn’t attribute the content to the source. One interesting thing that appeared in the lawsuit is that The New York Times tried to reach a negotiated deal with OpenAI in April and the following months, but it didn’t go anywhere. Hence, the NYT had to sue over its use of copyrighted work to train the AI chatbots.

The lawsuit does not put a monetary number for damages, but says, OpenAI and Microsoft should pay “billions” over the unlawful use of its valuable work. In an official statement shared with The Verge, an OpenAI spokesperson said,

“Our ongoing conversations with the New York Times have been productive and moving forward constructively, so we are surprised and disappointed with this development. We’re hopeful that we will find a mutually beneficial way to work together, as we are doing with many other publishers.”

Now that the lawsuit has been filed, it seems the development of Generative AI might hit another roadblock, besides increased regulatory hurdles. This will have greater ramifications not just for OpenAI and Microsoft, but for the whole AI industry and journalism, as we know it. We will keep a tab on the legal battle, so stay tuned with us.

SOURCE The New York Times
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