NYT Suit: We Suffered Billions in Damages Due to AI

It sues OpenAI and Microsoft, claiming copyright infringement
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 27, 2023 9:37 AM CST
NYT Suit : We Suffered Billions in Damages Due to AI
The New York Times filed a federal lawsuit against OpenAI and Microsoft on Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2023 seeking to end the practice of using published material to train chatbots.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

Another first in the category of AI-related lawsuits: The New York Times sued OpenAI and Microsoft for copyright infringement on Wednesday, becoming the first major media organization in the US to do so. The Times sums up the crux of its suit: "that millions of articles published by the Times were used to train automated chatbots that now compete with the news outlet as a source of reliable information." NBC News reports that in the federal suit, the Times wants the companies held responsible for the "billions of dollars in statutory and actual damages" it suffered due to "unlawful copying and use of the Times's uniquely valuable works."

Per the filing, "defendants seek to free-ride on the Times's massive investment in its journalism" and are "using the Times's content without payment to create products that substitute for the Times and steal audiences away from it." The suit seeks statutory damages, compensatory damages, restitution, and disgorgement, but it doesn't name a specific amount sought. It also wants the companies to destroy "all GPT or other [large language models] and training sets that incorporate Times works" and seeks a permanent injunction against the use of its copyrighted material.

The Times reports its complaint gives a number of examples in which a chatbot supplied "near-verbatim excerpts" from its articles that readers would need to subscribe to read (see one example on page 39 here). It argues OpenAI and Microsoft specifically made use of Times articles in their chatbot training because of the quality of the content. CNN reports the suit comes after efforts that started in April to negotiate compensation and a commercial agreement failed. (More generative AI stories.)

Get breaking news in your inbox.
What you need to know, as soon as we know it.
Sign up
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.