OpenAI and Microsoft sued by The New York Times over copyright infringement by AI models
The New York Times has sued OpenAI and Microsoft for using its unauthorized copyrighted published work to train their AI models.
Amid rising concerns and multiple legal battles of authors, publishers, and media houses over large language models (LLMs) using their copyrighted work to train AI systems, the New York Times has filed a lawsuit against OpenAI and Microsoft. The publisher has alleged that the two AI firms have been using the former's copyrighted published work unauthorized to train their respective AI models. This lawsuit has now heightened the conflict between publishers and AI companies, as regulatory institutions still try to figure out the right way to control and monitor the data AI models are trained on.
In a report, NYT said, “The Times is the first major American media organization to sue the companies, the creators of ChatGPT and other popular A.I. platforms, over copyright issues associated with its written works”. The lawsuit has been filed in the Federal District Court in Manhattan. Notably, the suit does not include an exact monetary demand as compensation.
NYT sues OpenAI, Microsoft
"Defendants seek to free-ride on The Times's massive investment in its journalism by using it to build substitutive products without permission or payment," according to the complaint filed in Manhattan federal court.
The main point of contention for the NYT is that millions of the newspaper's articles without permission were being used by the accused firms' AI systems to help train them.
Although there is no particular monetary demand by the plaintiff, it has asserted that 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.” The lawsuit also urges the destruction of any AI tool or chatbots and training data that uses its copyrighted material.
OpenAI and Microsoft have not issued a statement at this moment.
The NYT is not the only organization to have filed copyright infringement lawsuits against OpenAI and Microsoft. In November 2023, a group of nonfiction authors also filed a similar suit after claiming that the defendants misused the work of nonfiction authors to train the artificial intelligence models that underlie services like OpenAI's chatbot ChatGPT. This class-action lawsuit is being led by Hollywood Reporter editor Julian Sancton in Manhattan federal court.
The lawsuit is one of several that have been brought by groups of copyright owners, including authors John Grisham, George R.R. Martin, and Jonathan Franzen, against OpenAI and other tech companies over the alleged misuse of their work to train AI systems. The companies have denied the allegations.