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New York Times sue Microsoft and OpenAI alleging copyright infringement of articles

The New York Times sued Microsoft and OpenAI alleging copyright infringement of unlawful use of millions of copyrighted articles to train generative artificial intelligence models without permission.

The threat against independent journalism: “independent journalism is vital to our democracy“.

The New York Times allege the defendants (including Microsoft and OpenAI) engaged in widescale copying from many sources to build their systems, particularly emphasising its own content including news articles, in-depth investigations, opinion pieces, reviews, how-to guides and more, to “seek a free-ride on [its] massive investment in its journalism by using it to build substitutive products without permission or payment.”

The claim is the latest in a series of similar cases against prominent AI companies which allegedly rely on vast amounts of copyrighted information from the public domain to train their large-language models. In September 2023, we saw a group of prominent novelists (including Franzen, Grisham, R.R. Martin) join to file a lawsuit against OpenAI of infringing on their copyrights by using their books to train its popular ChatGPT chatbot.

Large language models are being scrutinised over intellectual property protection and concerns of spreading misinformation.

This area of law is rapidly evolving and there are significant implications for society. While we are awaiting court decisions on some of these major cases, you can keep updated with our AI case tracker here!

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