NYT Strikes Back: Predicting the Fallout for Microsoft, OpenAI

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Google, Apple, Meta, and Big Tech Companies Join US Consortium to Advance AI Ethics

In a bold legal move, the New York Times (NYT) initiates a battle against tech giants Microsoft and OpenAI, alleging widespread copyright infringement. James Grimmelmann, a legal expert, hails the lawsuit as the most detailed in the AI space, emphasizing the clear documentation and strong legal foundation. The clash revolves around differing views on ‘Fair Use,’ setting the stage for a significant reshaping of the discourse on AI and the law.

In a surprising twist, the New York Times (NYT) has thrown a legal curveball at tech giants Microsoft and OpenAI, accusing them of copying its articles with their smart computer programs. This gutsy move puts the media giant in a growing lineup of folks concerned about how artificial intelligence (AI) might be crossing ethical lines.

Big Legal Fight Unfurls NYT vs OpenAI

So, what’s the fuss? The NYT claims that OpenAI’s super-smart computer programs are, in part, made from stolen NYT articles. And not just that – these programs can spit out exact copies of those stolen articles. It’s a double whammy, breaking copyright laws and putting ChatGPT and its buddies as rivals to the New York Times.

The lawsuit lists plenty of examples where the AI-generated stuff didn’t give credit, didn’t link back, and certainly didn’t pay the Times. It’s not like search engines such as Google, where you usually get a link to the original source. The Times is also worried that this might mess up their reputation because the AI could generate inaccurate content.

Decoding the Fair Use Debate

Now, here’s where it gets tricky. The big argument is about something called “Fair Use,” which is a part of copyright law saying you can use copyrighted content in certain limited ways. Tech companies say if something is public on the internet, it’s fair game for training their smart machines. But the folks creating the content think differently. They say, “Hey, if you’re using our work to make money, we should get a slice of that pie.”

James Grimmelmann, a professor who knows a lot about digital and information law, says this clash of ideas could reshape the way we talk about AI and the law.

Expert Take: A Detailed Lawsuit

Legal expert James Grimmelmann gives a thumbs up to the Times’ lawsuit, calling it the most detailed one in the AI space. He points out that the Times’ lawyers did their homework – they got proof of copyright registrations, records showing AI models learning from Times articles, and a bunch of different copyright infringement claims, including a strong trademark one.

NYT Strikes Back Predicting the Fallout for Microsoft, OpenAI
James Grimmelmann

Grimmelmann thinks the lawsuit will survive the first hurdle and go on to a full-blown trial. But he does mention a small hiccup – some of the examples the Times gave need very specific instructions to the AI.

Possible Solutions and Impact on Industries

So, what happens next? Grimmelmann expects talks between the tech companies and media groups, with deals on licensing or paying royalties being the likely outcome. OpenAI has already struck deals with the Associated Press and Axel Springer, showing a willingness to negotiate.

But this fight isn’t just about courtrooms; it’s shaking up the way AI companies and content creators work together. It’s making people talk about sharing the money earned from using someone else’s work, which could be a game-changer in this fast-moving AI world.

As the legal drama unfolds, we’re left wondering if the courts will side with the tech giants or the content creators. This clash between the New York Times and Microsoft plus OpenAI is a big moment in the ongoing conversation about how tech and intellectual property intersect. It’s a story worth keeping an eye on as it shapes the future of smart machines and the rules that guide them.

Read Also: ChatGPT 5 – What We Know About OpenAI’s Next Chatbot

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