Navigating Copyright Storms in AI


Legal Crossroads: New York Times’ Battle with OpenAI and Microsoft

Dave Shawn

Legal Battle Unleashed: New York Times vs. OpenAI and Microsoft

In a dramatic legal development, the New York Times has initiated a lawsuit against OpenAI, the owner of ChatGPT, and Microsoft, naming both as defendants. The crux of the matter revolves around allegations of copyright infringement, asserting that the extensive training data for ChatGPT included “millions” of articles from the New York Times without proper authorization. The lawsuit further contends that this unauthorized use has positioned ChatGPT as a competitor to the renowned news organization, resulting in potential damages amounting to “billions of dollars.”

ChatGPT’s Alleged Plunder: A Threat to Subscription Revenue

The lawsuit delves into the implications of ChatGPT’s alleged unauthorized usage of New York Times articles. It claims that when prompted on current events, ChatGPT sometimes generates “verbatim excerpts” from the New York Times, content that is typically behind a paywall. This raises concerns that readers can access premium New York Times content without paying for it, impacting the newspaper’s subscription revenue and diminishing advertising clicks from visitors who might otherwise engage with the website directly.

Microsoft’s Involvement: A Billion-Dollar Connection

Microsoft, a key player in the development and investments behind OpenAI, finds itself entangled in the legal dispute. The tech giant, which has invested over $10 billion in OpenAI, is now implicated in the lawsuit filed in a Manhattan federal court. The New York Times had reportedly sought an amicable resolution in April, but the legal action was deemed necessary after unsuccessful negotiations. The involvement of Microsoft adds a complex layer to the litigation, potentially setting the stage for a significant legal showdown.

OpenAI’s Turmoil: A Storm of Lawsuits and Internal Strife

This legal battle is the latest in a series of challenges faced by OpenAI. The company experienced internal turmoil with the abrupt sacking and subsequent rehiring of co-founder and CEO Sam Altman. Beyond the internal struggles, OpenAI confronts multiple lawsuits in 2023, including a copyright infringement case filed by prominent authors and a separate lawsuit related to the use of code in training an AI called Copilot. As the legal landscape surrounding AI and copyright intensifies, OpenAI must navigate a storm of legal challenges that could reshape the future of AI development and its relationship with content creators.



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