Three news publishers sue OpenAI for copyright infringement

Occurred: February 2024

Three news publishers accused OpenAI and Microsoft of training their AI models using copyrighted material.

In February 2024, The Intercept, Raw Story, and AlterNet filed a lawsuit against OpenAI and Microsoft, claiming ChatGPT and OpenAI’s GPT-3, GPT-3.5 and GPT-4 large language models were trained on their copyrighted work without permission.

The suit went on to claim that ChatGPT had been trained to disregard copyright, ignore proper attribution, and not notify users when answers are generated using journalists’ protected work. 

The suit was one of a number levelled at OpenAI for training its models on copyrighted material without permission, notably by the New York Times. In response, OpenAI argued its use of content constituted ‘fair use’ and that changes were ‘transformative’.

The wave of lawsuits are seen to reflect a media industry-wide concern that generative AI will compete with established publishers as a source of information for internet users, while sapping advertising revenues and undermining the quality of online news. 

Operator: OpenAI

Developer: OpenAI

Country: USA

Sector: Media/entertainment/sports/arts

Purpose: Generate text

Technology: Chatbot; NLP/text analysis; Neural network; Deep learning; Machine learning; Reinforcement learning

Issue: Copyright; Ethics/values

Transparency: Governance 

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