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The New York Times (NYT) has filed a federal lawsuit against OpenAI and Microsoft, seeking to end the practice of using their articles and stories to train chatbots.
In the lawsuit filed on Wednesday in the Southern District of New York in Manhattan, NYT has alleged that OpenAI and Microsoft are advancing their technology through the “unlawful use of The Times’s work to create artificial intelligence products that compete with it,” posing a threat to The Times’s ability to provide its services.
Media organizations have faced challenges due to the shift of readers to online platforms. While many publications have established a digital presence, AI technology has posed a potential threat to various industries, including the media.
AI technology companies often scrape information available online, including articles from media organizations, to train generative AI chatbots, attracting billions in investments quickly.
Although The Times did not specify damages, it states that the federal lawsuit against OpenAI and Microsoft “seeks to hold them responsible for the billions of dollars in statutory and actual damages that they owe for the unlawful copying and use of The Times’s uniquely valuable works.”
The complaint alleges that Microsoft and OpenAI are attempting to benefit from The Times’s significant journalism investments to build products without compensation or permission.
Despite OpenAI’s previous deal with The Associated Press for licensing news stories, The New York Times asserts that it has never granted permission to use its content in generative AI applications.
The lawsuit follows apparent breakdowns in negotiations between the newspaper and the two companies. The Times claims to have raised concerns with Microsoft and OpenAI in April about the use of its intellectual property and sought a resolution to the issue. Despite The Times saying it sought to “ensure fair compensation” for the use of its content, “support a healthy news ecosystem, and contribute responsibly to the development of generative AI technology,” the negotiations, as outlined in the lawsuit, have failed to reach a resolution.