News publishers negotiating with OpenAI and Microsoft for compensation

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The New York Times and other news publishers have engaged in a collective effort behind the scenes to negotiate with generative artificial intelligence developers, such as OpenAI, for compensation.

Fox News owner News Corps, newspaper publisher Gannett, and Daily Beast owner IAC have been in confidential negotiations alongside the New York Times with OpenAI and Microsoft for months over compensation for the use of their content in AI training, according to the New York Times. Some aspects of the talks have come to light after the New York Times filed a suit against OpenAI and Microsoft on Tuesday alleging that it was not being appropriately compensated for the use of its work in training AI models.

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“We’ve had thoughtful conversations with several publishers and look forward to future discussions,” said Frank Shaw, a Microsoft spokesman.

The negotiations so far have been complicated, according to executives involved in the process, in part due to how quickly the technology has advanced. There is also some hesitancy from news executives due to how technological giants such as Google and Meta took over advertising in the past and slowly ate at the revenue earned by most newspapers. The publishers wish to ensure that they do not lose a sizable portion of revenue due to AI bots, such as ChatGPT, replacing their products.

The News/Media Alliance, an advocacy organization that represents 2,200 news organizations in the U.S., has also been working on a framework for the use of AI that could be presented to other outlets. (The Washington Examiner is also a member of the alliance.)

A few news providers have already reached deals with OpenAI. Axel Springer, which owns Politico and Business Insider, struck a multiyear deal with OpenAI to allow it to access the website’s archives and to link to newly published articles in its apps. The Associated Press has also signed an agreement allowing OpenAI to access its archives.

Some have abstained from being involved, however. Bloomberg, which already uses AI for distribution through its terminal system, intends to focus internally. The Washington Post has also not been involved in negotiations, according to people involved in the process.

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The New York Times’s suit argues that OpenAI and Microsoft should be held accountable for “billions of dollars in statutory and actual damages” related to the “unlawful copying and use of The Times’s uniquely valuable works.” It also requests that the companies destroy all data and chatbot models that included the New York Times’s work.

The New York Times is the first paper to try to hold OpenAI and Microsoft accountable for how ChatGPT used its content in the training model without acquiring appropriate licensing agreements.

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News publishers negotiating with OpenAI and Microsoft for compensation

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