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  • Voltaire Staff

US dailies sue OpenAI over content theft

Eight daily newspapers, including the New York Daily News and Chicago Tribune, have filed a lawsuit in New York federal court against Microsoft and OpenAI, alleging that the tech giants unlawfully utilised their journalists' work to train their AI systems.

The suit, filed on Tuesday and led by eight newspapers owned by Alden Global Capital, claims that the two firms illegally employed news articles to enhance their AI chatbots, according to Reuters.

The companies allegedly copied millions of their articles without permission to train AI products, such as Microsoft's Copilot and OpenAI's ChatGPT.

An OpenAI spokesperson said that the company takes "great care in our products and design process to support news organizations."

The complaint adds to a series of ongoing lawsuits against Microsoft and OpenAI, backed by significant funding from Microsoft.

The New York Times, along with news outlets The Intercept, Raw Story, and AlterNet, have already initiated legal action against OpenAI over similar allegations. These cases represent potential landmark lawsuits where copyright owners challenge tech companies over the data used to train their generative AI systems.

The lawsuit claims that Microsoft and OpenAI's systems reproduce the newspapers' copyrighted content exactly as it is when prompted. It also alleged that ChatGPT generated false articles attributing to the newspapers and damaged their reputations.

For instance, it mentioned a fabricated Denver Post article promoting smoking as an asthma remedy and a fake Chicago Tribune endorsement for a recalled infant lounger linked to child fatalities.

The plaintiffs, which also include the Orlando Sentinel, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, San Jose Mercury News, Orange County Register, and Twin Cities Pioneer Press, are seeking unspecified monetary damages and a court order to stop further infringement.

Steven Lieberman, a lawyer representing MediaNews publications, alleged that OpenAI's soaring success is owed to the works of others.

He criticised the defendants, stating that while they acknowledge the need to pay for computers, chips, and employee salaries, they seem to believe they can evade payment for content usage.


 Image source: Unsplash




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