NYT vs Microsoft and OpenAI: Know why this global newspaper sued the tech-giant, how the case will impact Gen AI and more..

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In April, NYT said that it made attempts to strike a licensing agreement with OpenAl and Microsoft. However, the talks broke down and no resolution was reached(Pic: istock/ET Now News)

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New York City based newspaper the New York Times sued tech giant Microsoft and OpenAI on December 27. The newspaper accused the paper of using articles from the newspaper without the company’s permission to help train artificial intelligence technologies, according to a report by the Times of India.

“Defendants 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 Times of India reported citing the complaint filed in a Manhattan court.

NYT vs Microsoft, OpenAI row

The New York Times (NYT) while suing the tech giant has alleged that using the newspaper’s articles text generators ChatGPT and Copilot infringe on the newspaper’s copyrights. Both ChatGPT and Copilot were trained on an extensive dataset which happened to include copyrighted New York Times articles. NYT has alleged that this is an infringement of intellectual property rights.

The lawsuit filed by the Times emphasizes on instances where ChatGPT directly quotes or heavily paraphrases Times articles, blurring the lines between original reporting and Al-generated content.

What this means for Gen AI

It is for the courts to decide whether Times allegations are valid or not, however the lawsuit is critical for the future of generative AI. Generative AI relies heavily on content to train itself, if the content is copyrighted without the necessary attribution, it can pose serious ethical and legal challenges. The Times has alleged that Microsoft and OpenAl have essentially “free-ridden” on their journalistic work, profiting from their content while undermining their value proposition.

The newspaper said in the complaint that “If The Times and other news organisations cannot produce and protect their independent journalism, there will be a vacuum that no computer or artificial intelligence can fill. Less journalism will be produced, and the cost to society will be enormous.”

Responding to the statement an OpenAI spokesperson expressed disappointment and at the same time hoped that the two companies will find a beneficial way to work together.

“We respect the rights of content creators and owners and are committed to working with them to ensure they benefit from AI technology and new revenue models. Our ongoing conversations with The New York Times have been productive and moving forward constructively, so we are surprised and disappointed with this development. We’re hopeful that we will find a mutually beneficial way to work together, as we are doing with many other publishers,” the OpenAI spokesperson said.

In April, NYT said that it made attempts to strike a licensing agreement with OpenAl and Microsoft. However, the talks broke down and no resolution was reached.

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NYT vs Microsoft and OpenAI: Know why this global newspaper sued the tech-giant, how the case will impact Gen AI and more..

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