artificial intelligence

8 US newspapers sue OpenAI, Microsoft for training AI systems with their work – report

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8 US newspapers sue OpenAI, Microsoft for training AI systems with their work – report

OPENAI. A keyboard is placed in front of a displayed OpenAI logo in this illustration taken February 21, 2023.

Dado Ruvic/Reuters

The lawsuit says that the companies owe the newspapers compensation for their unlawful use of copyrighted content

A group of newspapers owned by investment firm Alden Global Capital’s MediaNews Group sued Microsoft and OpenAI in New York federal court on Tuesday, Reuters reported on Wednesday, May 1. 

Publications such as The New York Daily News, The Chicago Tribune, The Denver Post and five other newspapers filed the complaint for “misusing reporters’ work to train their generative artificial-intelligence systems,” the report said.

According to the lawsuit, Microsoft Copilot and OpenAI owe the newspapers compensation for their “unlawful use of copyrighted newspaper content” to develop and operate their GenAI products. However, Microsoft and OpenAI continue to deny any wrongdoing, as stated in the document. 

The lawsuit, as reported by Reuters, stated that Microsoft and OpenAI’s systems can reproduce the newspapers’ copyrighted content word-for-word when prompted. The lawsuit also cites examples of ChatGPT generating fake articles attributed to the newspapers, potentially damaging the news outlets’ reputations.

Reuters also mentioned that Microsoft and OpenAI, which Microsoft has invested billions in, face similar lawsuits from The New York Times and other news outlets over the issue.

A recent investigation by the New York Times revealed how tech companies including OpenAI, Google, and Meta “cut corners, ignored corporate policies, and debated bending the law” to obtain data for training AI models and advancing the technology. 

For instance, Google transcribed YouTube videos to gather text data for its AI models, potentially violating video copyrights.

Reuters added that the newspaper lawsuits are just among “several potential landmark cases” copyright owners are filing against tech companies over how they train AI systems with content.

Quoting Steven Lieberman, a lawyer for the MediaNews publications, the site said that OpenAI owned its success to the works of others.

Meanwhile, an OpenAI spokesperson on Tuesday defended its practices and said that the company “takes great care in our products and design process to support news organizations.”

There has been no published comment from Microsoft at the time of writing. – with reports from Anj Paller/

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