The New York Times Sues OpenAI and Microsoft; The New York Times has taken legal action against OpenAI and Microsoft, asserting claims of copyright infringement. The lawsuit alleges that both companies constructed their AI models by extensively using and copying millions of articles from The New York Times. This has led to direct competition with the publication’s content, impacting its relationship with readers and causing financial losses.
The Basis of Allegations
According to the lawsuit, OpenAI and Microsoft’s large language models (LLMs), powering ChatGPT and Copilot, can generate content that closely mimics The New York Times, including verbatim recitations and expressive styles. The lawsuit contends that this undermines the publication’s relationship with its audience and results in revenue loss from subscriptions, licensing, advertising, and affiliates.
The legal complaint goes further to argue that these AI models pose a threat to high-quality journalism. By using The New York Times’ content without permission or compensation, the defendants allegedly jeopardize the ability of news outlets to protect and monetize their content. Microsoft’s Bing Chat, now rebranded as “Copilot,” and OpenAI’s ChatGPT are accused of leveraging The Times’ journalism without authorization.
Negotiations: New York Times Sues OpenAI and Microsoft
Despite the alleged attempts by The New York Times to negotiate with both companies for fair compensation, a mutually agreeable solution has not been reached. The lawsuit claims that Microsoft and OpenAI have profited significantly from AI models trained on The Times’ content, making the negotiations challenging.
OpenAI spokesperson Lindsey Held emphasized their commitment to working with content creators and owners. The statement expressed surprise and disappointment at The Times’ legal action, citing ongoing productive conversations with the publication. Microsoft, however, has not yet responded to requests for comment.
The publication is seeking legal remedies, including holding both companies liable for “billions of dollars in statutory and actual damages.” The lawsuit aims to prevent OpenAI and Microsoft from training their AI models using The Times’ content and demands the removal of The Times’ work from the companies’ datasets.
The legal battle adds to the complex relationship between news outlets and AI companies. Several news organizations, including The New York Times, have blocked OpenAI’s web crawler to prevent data scraping for AI model training.
While some publications resist, others, like Axel Springer, have embraced collaboration, striking deals for direct information access.
In this evolving landscape, the legal outcome will not only impact the involved parties but also set precedents for the relationship between media outlets and AI entities in the future.