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Major newspapers sue OpenAI, Microsoft over copyright infringement

May 1

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Eight major newspapers, including the New York Daily News, Chicago Tribune and Denver Post, have filed a lawsuit against OpenAI and Microsoft. Owned by Alden Global Capital, the newspapers allege the tech giants illegally used millions of their copyrighted articles to train sophisticated AI models like OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Microsoft’s Copilot.

The newspapers contend that these companies use their journalistic content to fuel AI products that compete directly with traditional media by replicating and distributing their work. This includes instances where AI models produce content nearly identical to the original articles.

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The suit also accuses the AI systems of generating errors or “hallucinations,” attributing false information to these newspapers, which could damage their reputations and spread misinformation.

In response to these legal challenges, some news organizations have opted for licensing agreements with AI companies.

The Financial Times announced a deal allowing OpenAI to use its content for ChatGPT responses. The Associated Press and Axel Springer have also entered into similar licensing agreements for their content.

In a statement, OpenAI reaffirmed its commitment to working with news organizations globally to address concerns and explore opportunities involving AI tools. This lawsuit mirrors a similar action taken by The New York Times in December, where it accused OpenAI of using stolen content to train its AI.

OpenAI defends its practices, claiming that using publicly available data such as news articles for AI training constitutes fair use.

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[LAUREN TAYLOR]

IN A CASE THAT’S MAKING HEADLINES RATHER THAN REPORTING THEM — EIGHT MAJOR NEWSPAPERS, INCLUDING THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, AND DENVER POST—HAVE LAUNCHED A LAWSUIT AGAINST OPENAI AND MICROSOFT.

THE PAPERS — ALL OWNED BY ALDEN GLOBAL CAPITAL — ACCUSE THE TECH GIANTS OF USING MILLIONS OF THEIR COPYRIGHTED ARTICLES WITHOUT PERMISSION TO TRAIN SOPHISTICATED LARGE LANGUAGE MODELS LIKE OPENAI’S CHATGPT AND MICROSOFT’S COPILOT.

THE NEWSPAPERS CLAIM THESE TECH COMPANIES USE THEIR CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION TO POWER AI PRODUCTS THAT DIRECTLY COMPETE WITH TRADITIONAL MEDIA BY REPLICATING AND DISTRIBUTING THEIR JOURNALISTIC WORK. THIS INCLUDES CASES WHERE AI MODELS GENERATE CONTENT THAT IS EITHER IDENTICAL OR BARELY MODIFIED FROM THE ORIGINAL ARTICLES.

THE SUIT ALSO CLAIMS THAT THE AI SYSTEMS CAN GENERATE ERRORS OR “HALLUCINATIONS,” ATTRIBUTING FALSE INFORMATION TO THESE NEWSPAPERS — DAMAGING THEIR REPUTATIONS AND POTENTIALLY SPREADING MISINFORMATION.

IN RESPONSE TO THE LEGAL CHALLENGES, SOME NEWS ORGANIZATIONS HAVE formed LICENSING AGREEMENTS WITH AI COMPANIES.

tHE FINANCIAL TIMES ANNOUNCED this week A DEAL ALLOWING OPENAI TO USE ITS CONTENT IN RESPONSE TO CHATGPT QUERIES. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS AND AXEL SPRINGER HAVE SECURED similar AGREEMENTS TO LICENSE THEIR CONTENT FOR AI USAGE.

OPENAI, IN A STATEMENT, EMPHASIZED THEIR COMMITMENT TO COLLABORATING WITH NEWS ORGANIZATIONS TO ADDRESS CONCERNS AND EXPLORE BENEFICIAL OPPORTUNITIES INVOLVING AI TOOLS.

THE LAWSUIT ECHOES A SIMILAR CASE BROUGHT BY THE NEW YORK TIMES IN DECEMBER, ACCUSING OPENAI OF USING STOLEN CONTENT TO TRAIN ITS AI.

OPENAI HAS DEFENDED ITS PRACTICES, CLAIMING THAT USING PUBLICLY AVAILABLE DATA, SUCH AS NEWS ARTICLES, FOR TRAINING IS LEGALLY PERMISSIBLE UNDER FAIR USE.