NY Times sues OpenAI, Microsoft for using articles to train software

The New York Times has launched a legal battle against the makers of ChatGPT and other artificial intelligence platforms for copyright infringement. 

The Times alleges that its articles have been used to train chatbots made by OpenAI and Microsoft.

“Defendants’ unlawful use of The Times’s work to create artificial intelligence products that compete with it threatens The Times’s ability to provide that service,” the lawsuit states.

In the lawsuit, examples are given that appear to show Microsoft’s Bing chatbot and ChatGPT giving answers that directly correlate to The New York Times articles. In one case, both chatbots gave recommendations to products that were reviewed and rated by The Times’ Wirecutter brand.

“Decreased traffic to Wirecutter articles and, in turn, decreased traffic to affiliate links subsequently lead to a loss of revenue for Wirecutter,” the lawsuit says.

The publication does not say how much money it’s seeking from the lawsuit, only stating that it should be awarded statutory and compensatory damages, along with restitution. It’s also asking the court to require the tech companies to destroy all models and training materials that incorporate work from The Times. 

The publication says it is the first major media organization to sue the tech companies over copyright issues associated with articles. 

Microsoft and OpenAI have not publicly commented on the lawsuit.