New York Times vs. Open AI and Microsoft

At the end of December 2023, the New York Times filed a lawsuit in the Federal District Court of Manhattan in New York court claiming that OpenAI used millions of their articles to train its large language models. Microsoft used New York Times`s content for training within the Microsoft Copilot model.

With the lawsuit, the New York Times seeks to establish that the defendants have violated intellectual property rights, respectively the copyright. This is because, according to the New York Times, the defendants’ tools can generate content that replicates the content of the New York Times, creates summary content, and mimics the style of language used, as shown in a number of examples.

It is significant to note that the New York Times ranks third in the representation of content on which GPT has been trained. Only Wikipedia and the US Patent Office database are ahead of them.

According to the New York Times`s lawsuit, both ChatGPT and Bing Chat can transmit entire sections of text without any technical or substantive errors. According to them, although some of this content is available only to subscribers, ChatGPT and Bing Chat prevent the protection and valorization of the content, for the reason that it is made more accessible. Instead of a subscription, users will always be able to visit either of the two AI assistants and receive the requested information. In this way, the income of the New York Times, as well as of all other news agencies, will be significantly reduced, and artificial intelligence models earn from content for which they have no material costs.

It is interesting to note that the lawsuit does not contain an exact monetary demand. But it says the defendants should be held responsible for “billions of dollars in statutory and actual damages” related to the “unlawful copying and use of The Times’s uniquely valuable works.” In addition, the lawsuit also demands that OpenAI and Microsoft remove all content that trained the AI, and that their content is no longer used to train the AI.

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