New York Times sues OpenAI and Microsoft for copyright infringement claiming ‘millions of articles’ were used to train chatbots: Lawsuit says companies should be held responsible for ‘billions of dollars in damages’
- The New York Times filed a lawsuit against OpenAI and Microsoft on Wednesday for copyright infringement
- They claim that the technology companies have used 'millions of articles' to do this to develop their artificial intelligence
The New York Times filed a lawsuit against OpenAI and Microsoft for copyright infringement, claiming the tech companies used their articles to train chatbots that now threaten journalists' jobs.
The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Federal District Court in Manhattan, alleges that the companies illegally passed “millions of items” to Microsoft's Bing Chat and OpenAI's ChatGPT to develop their products.
“This action is intended to hold them accountable for the billions of dollars in statutory and actual damages they owe for unlawfully copying and using The Times' uniquely valuable works,” the complaint said.
The Times argued that OpenAI and Microsoft's artificial intelligence programs use large language models developed by copying their articles with particular emphasis.
The lawsuit said: “Defendants seek to profit from The Times' massive investments in journalism by using it to build replacement products without permission or payment.”
The New York Times filed a lawsuit against OpenAI and Microsoft for copyright infringement, claiming the tech companies used their articles to train chatbots
In the complaint, The New York Times also alleged that Microsoft's Bing search index copies their online content and gives it to users without the publication's permission and deprives them of subscription, licensing, advertising and affiliate revenue.
An example of commercial referral misappropriation they gave is that when a user purchases a product recommended by New York Time's Wirecutter through a link on one of Microsoft's or OpenAI's AI-generated platforms, they do not receive any affiliate income.
The New York Times also said that artificial intelligence “hallucinations” – a phenomenon that occurs when the chatbots generate false information and falsely attribute it to a source – are potentially damaging to their reputation.
The Times said that using their work has been extremely lucrative for the companies, and they have tried to negotiate with the companies to ensure they received their fair share as they worked with them to develop their technology, but they are failed to reach an agreement.
“Microsoft's deployment of Times-trained LLMs across its product line has increased its market capitalization by a trillion dollars in the past year alone. And OpenAI's release of ChatGPT has pushed its valuation to as much as $90 billion,” the lawsuit said.
In the lawsuit, The Times alleged that OpenAI and Microsoft have said their conduct is protected as “fair use” because their use of the content is for a new “transformative” purpose.
The lawsuit alleged that the companies illegally passed “millions of items” to Microsoft's Bing Chat and OpenAI's ChatGPT to develop their products
The Times argued that artificial intelligence's 'hallucinations' – a phenomenon that occurs when the chatbots generate false information and falsely attribute it to a source – are potentially damaging to their reputation
The Times argued: 'There is nothing “transformative” about using The Times' content without payment to create products that take the place of The Times and take away from its audience.'
This is the first time a major US media organization has sued the makers of popular artificial intelligence, which could have major legal ramifications.
The first-ever copyright lawsuit against OpenAI was filed in July by a pair of best-selling authors who alleged that ChatGPT's parent company violated copyright law by training the chatbot to “take” their books without permission.
Authors Mona Awad and Paul Tremblay claimed that ChatGPT was trained in part by “recording” several of their novels – all without their consent.
Soon after, comedian Sarah Silverman and authors Richard Kadrey and Christopher Golden filed a lawsuit against Meta Platforms and OpenAI, claiming they were using copyrighted material to train chatbots.