AI Lawsuit by the New York Times

The New York Times has filed a lawsuit against Microsoft and OpenAI alleging that their generative AI systems, including Copilot/Bing Chat and ChatGPT, infringe on the Times’ copyrighted articles by copying and using them without permission to train the AI models.

The Times’ key points:

  • The Times invests heavily in producing quality journalism that is valuable to democracy and the public. Microsoft and OpenAI have unfairly free-ridden on this investment by feeding Times articles into their AI systems.
  • Copilot/Bing Chat and ChatGPT output can recite Times content verbatim, closely summarize it, mimic its style, and falsely attribute information to the Times. This competes with and threatens the Times.
  • Microsoft and OpenAI have refused to properly license Times content and pay fair value for using it, despite months of negotiations. Their “fair use” defense of using the content to train AI models is invalid since the AI competes with and displaces the Times.
  • The copying has been hugely lucrative for Microsoft and OpenAI, boosting valuations. But it has damaged the Times by undermining its readership and revenue streams.
  • The lawsuit seeks to hold Microsoft and OpenAI accountable under copyright law for billions in damages from their unauthorized competitive use of Times articles over several years.

As of this writing, the defendants have not responded.