The New York Times, one of the biggest news publishers in the world, is taking OpenAI and its partner Microsoft to court for the unauthorized use of NY Times‘ published material for AI training. The lawsuit for copyright infringement was filed on Wednesday at the Federal District Court of Manhattan.
This makes the Times the first major media company to sue OpenAI, the maker of ChatGPT, for copyright issues. The lawsuit claims that OpenAI and Microsoft have used millions of Times articles to train its AI chatbots. These chatbots are now competing against the NY Times as a source of reliable information.
The lawsuit does not demand any financial compensation, but says that the accused parties 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.” It also demands OpenAI and Microsoft to remove any chatbots created through copyright material gained from The Times.
The New York Times, in its formal complaint, revealed that it initiated contact with both Microsoft and OpenAI in April, with the dual purpose of raising apprehensions regarding the utilization of its intellectual assets and seeking an equitable resolution.
This potential resolution, as envisaged by The New York Times, would involve a commercial agreement and the implementation of stringent “technological guardrails” around generative artificial intelligence products. Regrettably, the subsequent negotiations failed to yield a mutually agreeable outcome.
On the other end, OpenAI spokeswoman Lindsey Held said that it was “moving forward constructively” in its talks with The Times, and that it was “surprised and disappointed” by the lawsuit. Held said:
We respect the rights of content creators and owners and are committed to working with them to ensure they benefit from A.I. technology and new revenue models. We’re hopeful that we will find a mutually beneficial way to work together, as we are doing with many other publishers.