News Industry Takes Legal Action Against OpenAI

News Industry Takes Legal Action Against OpenAI | Enterprise Wired

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Source – Business Today

The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR), a leading nonprofit newsroom, has joined forces with other major news organizations in a lawsuit against OpenAI and its key supporter, Microsoft. The suit, filed in federal court, accuses OpenAI of copyright infringement, following similar legal actions from publications like The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and the New York Daily News.

Allegations of Copyright Infringement

The CIR’s lawsuit, filed in the Southern District of New York, alleges that OpenAI used CIR’s content without permission or compensation. Since its launch in late 2022, OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot has scoured the web to provide answers to user queries, often relying on news stories.

“When they populated their training sets with works of journalism, Defendants had a choice: to respect works of journalism, or not,” the lawsuit states. “Defendants chose the latter.”

Monika Bauerlein, CEO of CIR, criticized OpenAI and Microsoft for their “free rider behavior,” accusing them of using CIR’s stories to enhance their product without seeking permission or offering compensation. Bauerlein highlighted that other organizations have licensed their material appropriately.

Seeking Damages

CIR, which includes Mother Jones and Reveal, claims that OpenAI trained ChatGPT to disregard copyright protections. The group is seeking “actual damages and Defendants’ profits, or statutory damages of no less than $750 per infringed work and $2,500 per DMCA violation,” referencing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Microsoft has not responded to requests for comment. An OpenAI spokesperson stated that they are working with the news industry to display content with proper attribution and to drive traffic back to original articles. They also mentioned that partnerships allow them to use publisher content to optimize its display and usefulness to users.

Broader News Industry Impact

With the news industry facing challenges in maintaining advertising and subscription revenue, many publications are aggressively protecting their content from unauthorized use by AI systems. In December, The New York Times sued Microsoft and OpenAI for intellectual property violations, seeking billions in damages. The Chicago Tribune and several other newspapers followed with a similar suit in April.

Not all news organizations are taking legal action. Some, like Time magazine, have entered partnerships with OpenAI. Time’s deal allows OpenAI to access over 100 years of the magazine’s content for training its AI models and enhancing its products. Similarly, OpenAI has partnered with News Corp., gaining access to articles from The Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch, Barron’s, and the New York Post. Reddit has also allowed OpenAI to train its AI models on Reddit content.

Future Collaborations and Conflicts

As AI-generated content becomes more prevalent, the tension between tech companies and news organizations is likely to increase. While some are opting for legal battles to protect their content, others are choosing collaboration to leverage AI’s capabilities. The outcome of these lawsuits and partnerships will shape the future of content creation and distribution in the digital age.

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