Major Newspapers Sue Tech Giants Over AI Copyright Infringements

In a dramatic escalation within the tech and publishing worlds, OpenAI and Microsoft find themselves at the center of sweeping legal challenges spearheaded by eight major newspapers, including the iconic Chicago Tribune and Mercury News. This unprecedented lawsuit, filed in the Southern District of New York, accuses the tech giants of illegitimately using millions of copyrighted articles to fuel their advanced AI technologies, including ChatGPT and Microsoft’s Copilot. The editors and publishers, who have invested billions in traditional journalism, argue that their copyrighted material has been used without permission to create competing AI-driven products that mimic and distribute journalistic content.

“We can’t allow OpenAI and Microsoft to expand the Big Tech playbook of stealing our work to build their own businesses at our expense,” declared Frank Pine, executive editor of MediaNews Group and Tribune Publishing, which owns seven of the involved newspapers. This case underscores a fundamental dispute over the digital reproduction rights, where the stakes are nothing less than the survival of traditional news media.

The newspapers allege that the widespread use of their content by these AI platforms not only violates copyright law but also threatens the viability of the journalism industry. They claim that the AI-generated content often reproduces articles verbatim, which could potentially deceive the public and dilute the value of original journalism.

Professor Eric Goldman of Santa Clara University, a specialist in internet and copyright law, commented on the technicalities of ‘fair use,’ a doctrine that OpenAI and Microsoft argue protects their actions. According to Goldman, the critical factors in determining fair use include the amount of material used, the transformation of the material, and the effect on the market for the original work. He noted, “It’s not clear if the AI applications exceed what is permissible under fair use, especially since the reproduced material often includes full paragraphs.”

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Source: HaystackID

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