New York Times Files Lawsuit Against Microsoft And OpenAI For Alleged Copyright Infringement

The New York Times filed a lawsuit Wednesday against Microsoft and OpenAI for copyright infringement. 

The 69-page lawsuit filed in Manhattan’s federal district court alleges “unlawful use of The Time’s work to create artificial intelligence products that compete with it.” 

The lawsuit specifically targets OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Microsoft’s Copilot, both artificial intelligence chatbots. The Times says in the lawsuit that it has been working with the defendants for months to reach a resolution, but without success. 

OpenAI has acknowledged in a document filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that its models are trained with the “use of large, publicly available datasets that include copyrighted work.” 

In the same document, OpenAI argues that the training of these systems constitutes fair use, stating that this training is “clearly highly transformative,” meaning the use of these systems is not intended to substitute the original use of the work. 

However, The Times fires back in the lawsuit, arguing that these artificial intelligence products “substitute for The Times and steal audiences away from it.” 

This follows multiple other lawsuits filed in the last few months that accuse tech companies of using copyrighted material. 

In July, comedian Sarah Silverman and two authors sued Meta and OpenAI, alleging that the models were trained on copyrighted materials without their permission. However, most of their claims were dismissed as “nonsensical,” in November by a federal judge, who wrote that “There is no way to understand the LLaMA models themselves as a recasting or adaptation of any of the plaintiffs’ books.”

In September, the Authors Guild filed a lawsuit against OpenAI on behalf of a group of famous writers, alleging that the AI model is illegally using their copyrighted work. 

Now, The Times states that “By providing Times content without The Times’s permission or authorization, Defendants’ tools undermine and damage The Times’s relationship with its readers and deprive The Times of subscription, licensing, advertising, and affiliate revenue.”

The Times’ lawsuit also calls out the defendants for the “extremely lucrative” returns from their artificial intelligence products. 

OpenAI is valued at $90 billion and currently is in the market for funding that would value it at over $100 billion, more than triple what it was worth at the beginning of the year.

Microsoft’s use of artificial intelligence has helped increase its market capitalization by over a trillion dollars in just the past year. 

OpenAI and Microsoft have not yet responded to the lawsuit.

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