Home Technology New York Daily News, Chicago Tribune, and others sue OpenAI and Microsoft

New York Daily News, Chicago Tribune, and others sue OpenAI and Microsoft

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New York Daily News, Chicago Tribune, and others sue OpenAI and Microsoft

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More news organizations, including the New York Daily News, Chicago Tribune, Orlando Sentinel, San Jose Mercury News, and four others, are suing OpenAI and Microsoft for alleged copyright infringement. 

The publications, all owned by the hedge fund Alden Global Capital, claim that both OpenAI and Microsoft trained on their articles without compensation or permission. The plaintiffs included as evidence several excerpts from conversations with both ChatGPT and Copilot showing that both chatbots reproduced lengthy excerpts of specific articles on command, indicating that their training datasets included the texts of those articles.

They also showed screenshots of Copilot, which can search the web in real time, reproducing entire news articles verbatim a day or two after those articles were posted, without “a prominent hyperlink” back to the original article. The companies also claim that chatbots often attribute false facts or hallucinations to publications.

“This lawsuit is not a battle between new technology and old technology. It is not a battle between a thriving industry and an industry in transition. It is most surely not a battle to resolve the phalanx of social, political, moral, and economic issues that GenAI raises. This lawsuit is about how Microsoft and OpenAI are not entitled to use copyrighted newspaper content to build their new trillion-dollar enterprises without paying for that content,” the complaint reads. 

According to the publications, companies that use copyrighted material for their AI models “must obtain the publishers’ consent to use their content and pay fair value for such use.” 

The complaint points to comments made by company executives, notably OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, that AI models cannot train without copyrighted material. The complaint also states that OpenAI demonstrated the ability to bypass paywalls, that its stores contained GPTs that offered the same, and that AI models can block chatbots from spitting out copyrighted work, but that OpenAI rarely deployed that capability.

OpenAI has sought to dismiss the NYT’s lawsuit, saying the publication manipulated ChatGPT into faithfully reproducing its work. At the same time, Microsoft invoked the VCR to claim AI models are merely tools, which could theoretically be used to infringe on copyright, but “are capable of substantial lawful use.”

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