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  • Philip Osadebay - Tech Journalist

Microsoft and OpenAI are being sued by The New York Times for copyright violations

The New York (NYT) is a renowned American newspaper with a global influence founded in 1851 and has established itself as one of the most respected and widely read publications, providing comprehensive coverage of news, politics, culture, and various other topics. Headquartered in New York City.

The New York Times has taken legal action against OpenAI and Microsoft, claiming copyright infringement. The newspaper alleges that the companies unlawfully used millions of its articles to train AI models like ChatGPT, leading to competition with The Times. This lawsuit shows a  broader concern among content creators who fear that AI may exploit their work without proper compensation.

The Times' suit targets major AI brands, OpenAI and Microsoft and the complaint emphasizes the threat posed to The Times' ability to serve its subscribers due to the alleged misuse of its content in creating competing AI products.

Microsoft has yet to comment on the lawsuit. Major media companies, including Disney, CNN, and The New York Times have restricted access to ChatGPT amid concerns about AI's impact.

The Times claims it has been unsuccessful in resolving issues with the companies. Microsoft and OpenAI argue that the Times' works fall under "fair use," allowing them to use copyrighted material for a "transformative purpose." 

The Times disputes this, contending that ChatGPT and Microsoft’s Bing chatbot can substitute for its service, making the use of its content without payment non-transformative and unfair. The newspaper, along with other leading newsrooms like CNN has implemented measures to block OpenAI’s web crawler, GPTBot, from scanning their platforms for content, demonstrating resistance to AI practices.

The lawsuit seeks billions in damages without specifying an amount, along with a permanent injunction against further infringement. The Times also demands the destruction of AI models or datasets using its journalism. 

This case may lay a precedent in the ongoing debate over whether using copyrighted material to train AI models violates the law, potentially shaping future legal considerations for the industry.


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