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Microsoft And OpenAI Are Being Sued By The New York Times For Copyright Violations

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The New York Times filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Microsoft and OpenAI, claiming that the companies’ artificial intelligence technology had unlawfully replicated millions of Times articles to train ChatGPT and other services that offered instant access to information. These services now compete with the Times’ offerings.

The lawsuit is the most recent in a series that aims to restrict the use of purportedly extensive information scraping from the internet — without payment — for the purpose of training “large language artificial intelligence models.” Actors, writers, journalists, and other creative professionals who publish their works online worry that artificial intelligence (AI) would use their work as a basis and create rival chatbots and other information sources without paying them fairly.

However, the Times is the first of the big news organizations to file a lawsuit against Microsoft and OpenAI, the two most well-known AI companies. Microsoft (MSFT) is a multibillionaire investor in OpenAI and holds a seat on the board of the firm.

The Times stated in a case it filed on Wednesday that although it has an obligation to notify its subscribers, its capacity to do so is threatened by Microsoft and OpenAI’s “illegal use of The Times’s work to create artificial intelligence products that compete with it.” The article pointed out that although OpenAI and Microsoft “widely copied” from other sources, “they gave Times content particular emphasis” and attempted “to free-ride on The Times’s massive investment in its journalism by using it to build substitutive products without permission or payment.”

Microsoft and openai

According to a statement from OpenAI’s spokesperson Lindsey Held, “We respect the rights of content creators and owners and are committed to working with them to ensure they benefit from AI technology and new revenue models.” We have been having fruitful and helpful interactions with the New York Times, therefore we are startled and dismayed by this development. As we do with many other publishers, we hope that we can work together in a way that benefits both of us.

The Times said in its complaint that it was offended to learn months earlier that its work had been utilized to train the massive language models of the firms. The Times claimed that it started talks with Microsoft and OpenAI in April in order to establish conditions of an agreement and obtain just compensation.

However, the Times claims that it has been unable to come to an agreement with the corporations. According to the complaint, Microsoft and OpenAI contend that the Times’ works qualify for “fair use,” which permits them to utilize copyrighted content for a “transformative purpose.”

The Times vehemently disagreed, arguing that ChatGPT and Microsoft’s Bing chatbot—also referred to as “copilot”—can offer a comparable service to that of the New York Times.

Retaliating against artificial intelligence

A number of prestigious newsrooms blocked OpenAI’s web crawler, GPTBot, from searching their platforms for material earlier this year by adding code to their websites. This includes The Times.

Comedian Sarah Silverman and two authors filed separate but connected complaints against Meta and OpenAI in July, claiming that the companies’ AI language models were trained on copyrighted content from their works without their knowledge or approval. Regarding the case, neither business has responded. In November, a judge threw out the majority of the lawsuit’s allegations.

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