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OpenAI Counters NYT Lawsuit, Defending Its Collaborative Approach to News and AI

In a blog post published on January 8, OpenAI responded to a lawsuit brought forth by The New York Times (NYT), categorically dismissing the allegations as “without merit.”

The post also highlighted OpenAI’s ongoing collaborative efforts with various news organizations.

OpenAI revealed that prior to the lawsuit, they were engaged in what appeared to be “progressing constructively” discussions with the NYT.

The lawsuit, filed by the NYT against OpenAI and Microsoft, centers on claims of unauthorized use of NYT content for training AI chatbots.

OpenAI firmly refutes these claims and views this as an opportunity to clarify their business practices, intent, and technological development.

The blog post outlined four key claims upon which OpenAI bases its arguments.

Firstly, OpenAI stressed its active collaboration with news organizations, emphasizing the creation of new opportunities for news dissemination.

Secondly, they asserted that their content usage falls under “fair use,” but they have introduced an “opt-out” option as a goodwill measure.

Additionally, OpenAI acknowledged and committed to addressing the issue of content “regurgitation” as a rare bug in their technology.

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Lastly, they implied that the NYT’s perspective might not represent the full story.

OpenAI also listed several media industry partnerships, including a recent integration with German media giant Axel Springer, aimed at addressing AI-related challenges.

The News/Media Alliance was mentioned as an organization with which OpenAI collaborates to explore opportunities, discuss concerns, and provide solutions.

However, it’s worth noting that the News/Media Alliance had previously published a 77-page paper in October and submitted it to the United States Copyright Office, raising concerns about AI models being trained on datasets primarily consisting of content from news publishers.

OpenAI highlighted its “opt-out process” for publishers, which prevents its tools from accessing the websites of publishers who have chosen to employ this feature.

Notably, The New York Times itself adopted this opt-out process in August 2023.

The central argument in the NYT’s case against OpenAI and Microsoft revolves around the claim that “” is among the most frequently used proprietary sources, ranking only behind Wikipedia and a U.S. patent database.

The NYT asserted that they had contacted OpenAI and Microsoft in April 2023 to express concerns regarding intellectual property but received no satisfactory resolution.

Despite OpenAI’s firm rebuttal, legal experts have regarded the NYT’s case as the most substantial thus far, alleging copyright infringement by generative AI.

OpenAI concluded their blog post by stating that any misuse of content claimed by the NYT is not representative of typical user activity and their content is not intended to serve as a substitute for The New York Times.

They expressed hope for a constructive partnership with the NYT, acknowledging and respecting the newspaper’s long history and influence in the media industry.

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