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OpenAI and The New York Times May Be Headed for Legal Battle over AI’s Use of its Content

August 17, 2023

OpenAI and The New York Times may be on a collision course resulting in legal action setting broad precedent on a AI system’s use of a publisher’s content – any publisher, even bloggers.

NPR’s Bobby Allyn reports The New York Times is weighing legal action against OpenAI, the maker of ChatGPT, over intellectual property rights linked to its reporting.

The core contention: ChatGPT could potentially compete directly with the NYT by generating text based on the paper’s original journalism.

The issue is intensified as tech giants integrate generative AI tools into their platforms, with Microsoft’s Bing already being powered by ChatGPT.

There are concerns that such AI responses could diminish the need for users to visit publishers’ websites.

Generative AIs like ChatGPT aggregate vast data from the web without explicit permission, of course raising these questions about its legality.

Potential implications for OpenAI? Federal copyright law could mandate the destruction of the AI’s dataset and impose hefty financial penalties.

Such a suit could also establish boundaries on “fair use” when it comes to AI, having big implications for AI systems and original content creators.

With the amount of money behind OpenAI, I’d have to bet we’re going to see an agreement before a law suit goes very far.