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US: New York Times sues OpenAI and Microsoft for copyright infringing

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The New York Times sued OpenAI and Microsoft on Wednesday, accusing them of using millions of the newspaper’s articles without permission to help train chatbots to provide information to readers.

The Times said it is the first major U.S. media organization to sue OpenAI, creator of the popular artificial-intelligence platform ChatGPT, and Microsoft, an OpenAI investor and creator of the AI platform now known as Copilot, over copyright issues associated with its works.

The newspaper’s complaint, filed in Manhattan federal court, accused OpenAI and Microsoft of trying to “free-ride on The Times’s massive investment in its journalism” by using it to provide alternative means to deliver information to readers.

“There is nothing ‘transformative’ about using The Times’s content without payment to create products that substitute for The Times and steal audiences away from it,” the Times said.

OpenAI and Microsoft have said that using copyrighted works to train AI products amounts to “fair use,” a legal doctrine governing the unlicensed use of copyrighted material.

On its website, the U.S. Copyright Office says “transformative” uses add “something new, with a further purpose or character” and are “more likely to be considered fair.”

The Times is not seeking a specific amount of damages, but estimated damages in the “billions of dollars.” It also wants OpenAI and Microsoft to destroy chatbot models and training sets that incorporate its material.

Talks to avert a lawsuit and allow “a mutually beneficial value exchange” with the defendants were unsuccessful, the 172-year-old newspaper said.

“We respect the rights of content creators and owners,” OpenAI said in an emailed statement. “Our ongoing conversations with the New York Times have been productive and moving forward constructively, so we are surprised and disappointed with this development.”

Microsoft did not respond to requests for comment.

Addition Source: Reuters