New York Times Sues OpenAI, Microsoft for Alleged Copyright Infringement

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    The Facts

    • The New York Times filed a lawsuit against OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, as well as Microsoft, which invests in and supplies the chatbot through its Azure cloud computing technology, on Wednesday, alleging "billions of dollars" in losses due to the "unlawful copying and use of The Times’s uniquely valuable works."

    • The suit claims that the companies' artificial intelligence (AI) products, including Microsoft's Copilot, were trained using millions of pieces of New York Times content; this, the lawsuit alleges, has drawn would-be readers away from the newspaper and thus deprived it of advertisement, subscription, and licensing revenue.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    This isn't your typical plagiarism scandal, and anyone who's ever put time and effort into writing something knows that. OpenAI — now a billion-dollar-per-year company — not only steals the hard-earned published works of famous writers and organizations but has also learned to mimic the styles of lesser-known bloggers. If lawmakers can't figure out how to regulate the AI industry, creative professionals will be faced with immediate loss of income and eventual career extinction.

    Narrative B

    No one is arguing that copying works word-for-word is allowed, but there is a more nuanced way of looking at this issue. Just as great authors often read and base their work on others' published books, AI bots read, digest, and transform content they find online. If AI companies are caught plagiarizing, they should be forced to retract and compensate, but if they simply study human patterns and create novel literature from their newfound knowledge, then they should be treated as any author who's read others' books.

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