Navigating the Copyright Landscape: AI, Life Coaches, and the Rise of Jesus
August 19, 2023

Navigating the Copyright Landscape: AI, Life Coaches, and the Rise of Jesus

Content Creators Unhappy as The New York Times May Sue OpenAI over Copyright Issues

Anyone following the twists and turns over generative AI tools knows that content creators are justifiably unhappy that tools like OpenAI's ChatGPT and Google Bard may be slurping up their content, without permission or compensation, to “train” the large language models powering those chatbots. Now there's word that The New York Times may sue OpenAI. The paper updated its terms of service on Aug. 3 to say outsiders can't scrape any of its copyrighted content to train a machine learning or AI system without permission.

Possible Lawsuit from The New York Times against OpenAI over Intellectual Property Rights

The New York Times may end up suing OpenAI “to protect the intellectual property rights associated with its reporting,” NPR said, citing two people with direct knowledge of the discussions. This potential legal battle highlights concerns that ChatGPT is becoming a direct competitor to the Times by creating text based on the original reporting and writing of the paper's staff.

Concerns Over Use of Information by AI Platforms

ChatGPT is not the only platform using information from sources like The New York Times to answer questions or prompts. Microsoft's Bing search engine, which is powered by ChatGPT, also benefits from this information. This raises concerns about fair compensation for the use of copyrighted work, especially since Microsoft has invested over $11 billion in OpenAI.

Similar Copyright Issues Raised by Other Content Creators

Over 4,000 writers, including well-known figures like Sarah Silverman and Margaret Atwood, have called out generative AI companies for allegedly stealing their copyrighted work. Getty Images has also sued Stability AI for training its image-generation engine using millions of photos from Getty's archive without a license. OpenAI seems to have acknowledged these copyright issues by signing agreements to license copyrighted content, such as the one with the Associated Press.

The Importance of Copyright Protection in the Age of AI

The possible lawsuit between The New York Times and OpenAI could be a landmark case in copyright protection for generative AI. Copyright law could have a major impact on AI companies, and finding a solution that balances the fair use of copyrighted materials with compensation for content creators is crucial.