New York Times files lawsuit against OpenAI and Microsoft demanding destruction of ChatGPT



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The New York Times is seeking billions in damages and the destruction of chatbot models that use the Times’ copyrighted material.

A rumor from this summer is now official: The New York Times (NYT) is suing OpenAI and Microsoft for copyright infringement.

The NYT claims that millions of its articles have been used without a license to train AI models that now compete with the news agency as a source of reliable information.

The NYT accuses OpenAI and Microsoft of “using The Times’s content without payment to create products that substitute for The Times and steal audiences away from it.”

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The paper seeks “billions of dollars in statutory and actual damages” for the “unlawful copying and use of The Times’s uniquely valuable works.”

According to the New York Times, OpenAI and Microsoft have made a point of using Times journalism to train their AI software because the material is considered reliable and accurate. The two companies are trying to “free-ride on The Times’ massive investment in its journalism,” the complaint states.

The NYT is demanding that AI language models trained on the newspaper’s articles be destroyed. The suit was filed in Federal District Court in Manhattan. OpenAI and Microsoft have not yet responded to the allegations.

Failed out-of-court negotiations

The lawsuit cites several instances in which chatbot users received almost verbatim excerpts of Times articles that would otherwise have required a paid subscription. The Bing chatbot allegedly returned almost exact copies of NYT reviews.

It also highlights the potential damage to the Times’ brand from so-called “AI hallucinations,” a phenomenon in which chatbots insert false information that is then falsely attributed to a source. The lawsuit cites several instances in which Microsoft’s Bing chat provided false information purportedly from the Times.

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