OpenAI Challenges New York Times Copyright Lawsuit

OpenAI disputes The New York Times' copyright lawsuit, challenging claims of ChatGPT's infringement.

Why is The New York Times suing OpenAI over ChatGPT?

OpenAI, the generative AI startup, has countered claims by The New York Times, accusing the newspaper of manipulating its ChatGPT model. The dispute escalates amid a lawsuit filed by the newspaper against OpenAI and its principal supporter, Microsoft.

The Allegations And Response

Filed shortly after Christmas, The New York Times' lawsuit on December 27 accuses OpenAI and Microsoft of using millions of its articles to develop ChatGPT, alleging copyright infringement and seeking billions in damages. In response, OpenAI, in a January 8 blog post, refuted these claims, arguing the lawsuit lacks merit and accusing the Times of incomplete disclosure.

OpenAI and journalism
We support journalism, partner with news organizations, and believe The New York Times lawsuit is without merit.

OpenAI asserts it was blindsided by the lawsuit, having learned of it through a Times article published on the same day as the filing. Prior discussions between OpenAI and the Times had focused on a potential partnership, with OpenAI explaining that the newspaper's content had minimal impact on its models' training.

The Times alleges that OpenAI's chatbot reproduced entire excerpts from its articles. OpenAI, however, labels this as "inadvertent memorization", a phenomenon it has actively sought to avoid. The company suggests that the Times might have intentionally manipulated prompts to produce such results, asserting that its models do not typically behave as implied by the newspaper.

Ian Crosby, a partner at Susman Godfrey representing The New York Times, maintains that OpenAI used the newspaper's work to develop ChatGPT, arguing against the notion of fair use. The Times has demanded the destruction of any training data and chatbot models utilizing its copyrighted material.

This legal battle highlights the growing tension between AI companies and copyright law, especially as firms like OpenAI use extensive internet data for model training. OpenAI defends its practices as "fair use" under US law, a stance challenged by The New York Times.

OpenAI's Outlook Amid The Dispute

Despite the lawsuit, OpenAI remains optimistic about future collaborations with The New York Times and other media entities. The company recently inked a significant deal with German publisher Axel Springer, potentially setting a precedent for AI and publishing partnerships.

Axel Springer And OpenAI Forge Pioneering Partnership
Axel Springer partners with OpenAI, allowing AI training with content from its media outlets for a significant annual fee.

OpenAI values the Times' journalistic legacy, hoping for a resolution that paves the way for constructive partnerships.


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