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OpenAI and Microsoft Sued by Center for Investigative Reporting

ByHuey Yee Ong

Jun 28, 2024

OpenAI and Microsoft Sued by Center for Investigative Reporting

The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) has filed a lawsuit against OpenAI and Microsoft in federal court, alleging copyright infringement.

The lawsuit, filed in the Southern District of New York on Thursday, June 27, claims that OpenAI used CIR’s content without permission or compensation. This lawsuit adds to a series of similar legal actions by other major news organizations against AI companies.

The CIR, the oldest nonprofit newsroom in the United States, alleges that OpenAI “copied, used, abridged, and displayed CIR’s valuable content without CIR’s permission or authorization, and without any compensation to CIR.” The suit claims that since the public release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot in late 2022, the AI has been crawling the web to provide answers to user queries, often relying heavily on content pulled directly from news stories.

The plaintiffs argue that when OpenAI populated their training sets with works of journalism, they chose to disregard copyright laws. Monika Bauerlein, CEO of CIR, accused OpenAI and Microsoft of “free rider behavior,” stating that they used CIR’s stories to enhance their product without seeking permission or offering compensation, unlike other organizations that license their material.

The lawsuit also alleges that OpenAI trained ChatGPT not to acknowledge or respect copyright. CIR is seeking actual damages and the defendants’ profits, or statutory damages of no less than $750 per infringed work and $2,500 per violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

Other Legal Actions

This legal action follows similar lawsuits from The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and the New York Daily News. The New York Times seeks to hold OpenAI and Microsoft accountable for billions of dollars in damages for allegedly using its content unlawfully. The Chicago Tribune, along with seven other newspapers, filed a similar suit in April.

Partnerships Amid Legal Challenges

However, not all news organizations are adversarial towards OpenAI. On the same day CIR filed its lawsuit, OpenAI and Time magazine announced a multi-year content deal, allowing OpenAI to access and use Time’s current and archived articles. This partnership enables OpenAI to display Time’s content within its ChatGPT chatbot and use it to enhance its AI models.

OpenAI has also partnered with News Corp and Reddit, allowing access to their content for training its AI models.

Featured Image courtesy of JASON REDMOND/AFP via Getty Images

Huey Yee Ong

Hello, from one tech geek to another. Not your beloved TechCrunch writer, but a writer with an avid interest in the fast-paced tech scenes and all the latest tech mojo. I bring with me a unique take towards tech with a honed applied psychology perspective to make tech news digestible. In other words, I deliver tech news that is easy to read.

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