March 2, 2024

OpenAI Calls NY Times Copyright Lawsuit Baseless

In a bold statement, OpenAI has defended itself against the recent copyright infringement lawsuit filed by The New York Times. The tech company dismissed the legal action as “without merit”.

Since December, OpenAI has been entangled in a legal battle against the media platform. It refused to admit that it illegally leveraged the Times journalism to train its AI systems.

In a pointed blog post released on Monday, OpenAI countered the lawsuit, stating, The New York Times is not telling the full story”.

As per OpenAI, it aims to “support a healthy news ecosystem, be a good partner, and create mutually beneficial opportunities”.

The lawsuit was filed last month targeting OpenAI and Microsoft, its investor and business partner.

According to the allegations, both companies use AI technologies illegally, copying millions of journalistic materials published on the Times website to train ChatGPT and similar AI models. The technology poses a direct competition to the services offered by NY Times.

OpenAI Dubs Journalistic Content As “Publicly Available Internet Materials”

In response to the lawsuit, OpenAI also stated that it was only using “publicly available internet materials” to train its AI models. These materials, as described by OpenAI, come under “fair use” as per copyright law. OpenAI also stressed the importance of innovation, considering it to be fair for creators.

However, the NY Times didn’t buy the “fair use” logic as presented by OpenAI. The news publisher stated that Microsoft’s Bing chatbot and ChatGPT provided services similar to their newspaper.

There is nothing ‘transformative’ about using The Times’ content without payment to create products that substitute for The Times and steal audiences away from it.The New York Times

OpenAI admitted that there was a “rare bug” in its system that resulted in exact copies of Times reports. The tech company also assured that they were taking measures to mitigate such instances and accused The Times of intentionally manipulating examples.

OpenAI also focussed on licensing deals with other news publishers, including the Associated Press and Axel Springer as a testimony of its commitment to fair compensation.

The tech company has agreed to compensate the media platforms for training its AI models based on their content. Besides, the news outlets reserve the right to “opt-out” of getting their websites scrapped by tools.

Back in August, The NY Times chose to implement the “opt-out” option.

OpenAI Tried Negotiating With The NY Times On Licensing Deal

In a significant disclosure, OpenAI stated that it was negotiating with the NY Times till December 19 over a licensing agreement and compensation. However, the parties failed to reach a fruitful deal in this pursuit.

It was just a week later that the Times filed a lawsuit against it. These discussions involved “a high-value partnership around real-time display with attribution in ChatGPT”.

This would provide a new way for the Times to engage readers while offering them access to the reporting of the newspaper.

OpenAI further expressed optimism to enter a partnership with The Times despite the ongoing legal dispute. This ongoing legal battle is likely to shape the future landscape of the development of AI and copyright considerations.

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