In a lawsuit that challenges the boundaries of copyright and technology, The New York Times has taken a definitive stand against tech giants OpenAI and Microsoft.
The media house not only sought compensation for damages but also wanted the models to be destroyed where their content was used to train AI.
The case at the Federal District Court in Manhattan involved the media accusing OpenAI and Microsoft of using its journalistic content to train advanced AI models. This legal confrontation reflects the escalating tension between traditional content creators and generative AI creators.
The New York Times sued OpenAI and Microsoft for using millions of articles published by it without seeking permission to refine AI models. These include Copilot from Microsoft and ChatGPT from OpenAI.
The complaint filed by the NY Times read, “If The Times and other news organizations cannot produce and protect their independent journalism, there will be a vacuum that no computer or artificial intelligence can fill”.
This lawsuit brings the larger dispute in the digital world to the forefront, where the lines between fair use and copyright infringement are increasingly blurred.
OpenAI Spokesperson Responds With Surprise And Disappointment
In response to the lawsuit, an OpenAI spokesperson expressed both surprise and disappointment.
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.OpenAI spokesperson
The issue centers on the way generative AI models like ChatGPT and Copilot learn from massive volumes of data in cyberspace. This approach raises questions about the use of copyrighted journalistic materials and the corresponding impact on original content creators.
The lawsuit filed by the NY Times is a part of the emerging global trend of legal actions being taken against AI creators. Authors like Jonathan Franzen and celebrities like Sarah Silverman have also raised their concerns over the use of copyrighted works in training AI models without their consent.
NY Times Points Out The “Hallucinations” Problem Of Generative AI
The case also highlights the potential damage to the brand image of the media platform as a result of “hallucinations” issues in AI-generated content.
This refers to fabricated facts where Microsoft’s Bing Chat or Copilot generated incorrect information, attributing the NY Times as the source. This brings the credibility of the newspaper under question.
This is not an isolated legal battle against tech giants developing advanced AI models. Publishers have already filed cases against Google, claiming that AI-backed tools were diverting their traffic and depriving them of revenue through advertisement. This is significantly impacting the business model of the publishing industry.
Legal experts, however, remain skeptical about the success of such lawsuits.
Heather Meeker, an IP adviser, suggests that the responsibility may lie more with users who depend on AI to reproduce copyrighted material. Therefore, the technology itself is not to be blamed.
Some news organizations have explored an alternative approach, deciding to collaborate with the AI creators rather than going for a direct confrontation.
For instance, Axel Springer and The Associated Press have entered into licensing agreements with AI companies. This can be a viable negotiation channel between tech companies and news publishers.
Source : TechReport