New York Times Sues Microsoft and OpenAI

The New York Times has sued Microsoft and OpenAI for copyright infringement, accusing that the companies’ artificial intelligence technology illegally copied millions of Times’ articles to train ChatGPT and other services to provide people with instant access to information — technology that now competes with the Times.

The Times said OpenAI and Microsoft are advancing their technology through the “unlawful use of The Times’ work to create artificial intelligence products that compete with it” and “threatens The Times’ ability to provide that service”.

Through their AI chatbots, the companies “seek to free-ride on The Times’s massive investment in its journalism by using it to build substitutive products without permission or payment”, the lawsuit said.

The Times, one of the most respected news organisations in the United States, is seeking damages as well as an order that the companies stop using its content – and destroy data already harvested.

While no sum is specifically requested, the Times alleged that the infringement could have cost “billions of dollars in statutory and actual damages”

The newspaper joins a growing list of individuals and publishers trying to stop AI giants from using copyrighted material.

Last year, Game of Thrones author George RR Martin and other bestselling fiction writers filed a class-action lawsuit against OpenAI, accusing the startup of violating their copyrights to fuel ChatGPT.

In June, more than 4,000 writers signed a letter to the CEOs of OpenAI, Google, Microsoft, Meta and other AI developers, accusing them of exploitative practices in building chatbots that “mimic and regurgitate” their language, style and ideas. None of these lawsuits have yet been resolved.