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OpenAI Says New York Times Lawsuit Surprising and Without Merit 

OpenAI said The New York Times lawsuit targeting it is without merit. 

The creator of the artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot ChatGPT said in a Monday (Jan. 8) blog post that the publisher’s lawsuit came as a surprise, as the two companies had been negotiating a partnership as recently as Dec. 19. 

Reached by PYMNTS, a spokesperson for The New York Times provided a statement from Ian Crosby, partner with Susman Godfrey and lead counsel for The New York Times.

“The blog concedes that OpenAI used The Times’s work, along with the work of many others, to build ChatGPT,” Crosby said. “As The Times’s complaint states, ‘Through Microsoft’s Bing Chat (recently rebranded as ‘Copilot’) and OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Defendants seek to free-ride on The Times’s massive investment in its journalism by using it to build substitutive products without permission or payment.’ That’s not fair use by any measure.”

The publisher sued OpenAI and Microsoft on Dec. 27, alleging copyright infringement and claiming the tech companies used its content without permission to develop their AI products. 

In its Monday blog post, OpenAI said no single source, including The New York Times, makes a meaningful contribution to the training of its models. 

The company also said in the post that any “regurgitation” of publishers’ content is treated as a priority by OpenAI. For example, in July, the company took down a ChatGPT feature when it learned that the feature could reproduce real-time content in ways that OpenAI did not intend. 

“Despite their claims, this misuse is not typical or allowed user activity, and is not a substitute for The New York Times,” OpenAI said in the post. “Regardless, we are continually making our systems more resistant to adversarial attacks to regurgitate training data, and have already made much progress in our recent models.” 

OpenAI also said in the blog post that it collaborates with news organizations to explore new opportunities. 

The company has pursued partnerships with these organizations to deploy its AI products to benefit and support reporters and editors, train its AI models on additional content that is not publicly available, and display news publishers’ real-time content with attribution in ChatGPT, according to the post. 

“Our goals are to support a healthy news ecosystem, be a good partner, and create mutually beneficial opportunities,” OpenAI said in the post. 

In one collaboration, which was announced on Dec. 13, OpenAI forged a licensing deal with media company Axel Springer. In that deal, the tech company will provide summaries of that publisher’s content from Politico, Business Insider and Bild in reply to queries asked of ChatGPT.