US Newspapers Sue OpenAI and Microsoft Over Alleged Copyright Infringement

Eight major U.S. newspapers sue OpenAI and Microsoft for using their copyrighted articles to train AI chatbots without permission or payment, highlighting legal issues around fair use and tensions between media and tech firms.

Justice Nwafor
New Update
US Newspapers Sue OpenAI and Microsoft Over Alleged Copyright Infringement

US Newspapers Sue OpenAI and Microsoft Over Alleged Copyright Infringement

Eight major U.S. newspapers, including The New York Daily News and The Chicago Tribune, have filed a lawsuit against OpenAI and Microsoft in a New York federal court. The newspapers, all owned by Alden Global Capital, allege that the tech companies have been using millions of their copyrighted news articles without permission or payment to train artificial intelligence chatbots like ChatGPT and Microsoft Copilot.

The lawsuit claims that OpenAI and Microsoft have "misappropriated millions" of news articles to "drive the monetization of their generative artificial intelligence products." The newspapers argue that they have invested billions of dollars gathering information and reporting news, and cannot allow the tech firms to use their work to build their own businesses at the publications' expense.

According to the complaint, the AI chatbots have generated near-verbatim copies of the newspapers' articles when prompted, and have at times incorrectly attributed inaccurate reporting to the publications, damaging their reputations. The newspapers are seeking unspecified monetary damages and for the practice of using their content without consent to end.

Why this matters: The lawsuit highlights the unresolved legal issues surrounding the use of copyrighted material by AI companies under the "fair use" doctrine. It also emphasizes the growing tension between media organizations and tech firms as AI chatbots increasingly compete with traditional news outlets.

OpenAI has stated that it takes care to support news organizations and is engaged in constructive partnerships with many publishers around the world. However, the company has also defended its use of publicly available data, including news articles, for general AI training purposes as fair use. Microsoft, which has invested billions in OpenAI, declined to comment on the lawsuit.

The case closely resembles a similar lawsuit filed by The New York Times against OpenAI and Microsoft in December 2023. While some news organizations have struck licensing deals with the tech companies to allow their content to be used in AI responses, the eight newspapers in this lawsuit argue that OpenAI and Microsoft are not entitled to use their articles without permission and fair compensation.

Key Takeaways

  • 8 U.S. newspapers sue OpenAI, Microsoft for copyright infringement
  • Newspapers allege AI chatbots used their articles without permission
  • Lawsuit claims AI misused content to monetize their products
  • Case highlights legal issues around AI's "fair use" of copyrighted data
  • Outcome could impact AI development and media industry relationship