Nonprofit news organization sues ChatGPT maker OpenAI and Microsoft for ‘exploitative’ copyright infringement

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Center for Investigative Reporting said Thursday it has filed a lawsuit against ChatGPT maker OpenAI and its closest business partner Microsoft, marking a new front in the news industry’s battle against unauthorized use of its online content. artificial intelligence Platforms.

The non-profit organization that produces Mother Jones And revealOpenAI said it used its content without permission and without providing compensation, infringing the copyright on the organization’s journalism. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in New York, describes OpenAI’s business as “built on the exploitation of copyrighted works” and focuses on how AI-generated summaries threaten publishers.

“It’s very dangerous,” Monika Bauerlein, the nonprofit’s chief executive, told The Associated Press. “Our existence depends on users finding our work valuable and deciding to support it.”

“When people can’t develop that relationship with our work, when they’re no longer encountering Mother Jones or Reveal, their relationship is with the AI ​​tool,” Bauerlein said.

She said it could “cut the entire foundation of our existence as an independent newsroom out from under us” while also threatening the future of other news organizations.

The lawsuit is the latest against OpenAI and Microsoft to reach federal court in Manhattan, where the companies are already fighting a series of other copyright lawsuits. From the New York Times, Other media The companies also face a separate lawsuit in federal court in San Francisco brought by authors including comedian Sarah Silverman.

Some news organizations have chosen to cooperate rather than fight with OpenAI by signing deals to receive compensation in exchange for sharing news content that can be used to train their AI systems. The last thing that does that is time, which It was announced on Thursday. OpenAI will have access to its “extensive archives from the past 101 years.”

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OpenAI did not respond directly to the lawsuit on Thursday, but said in a statement that it “works collaboratively with the news industry and collaborates with global news publishers to display their content in our products like ChatGPT, including summaries, citations and attribution, to drive traffic to original articles.” Microsoft did not respond to a request for comment.

OpenAI and other major AI developers typically don’t disclose their data sources yet They claimed that Collecting large amounts of publicly available text online, the pictures And Other media to Train their AI systems The copyright is protected under the “fair use” doctrine of U.S. copyright law. The CIR lawsuit says the dataset that OpenAI admitted to using to build an earlier version of its chatbot contained thousands of links to the website of Mother Jones, a 48-year-old print magazine that has been published online since 1993. But the text used to train the AI ​​typically lacked information about the story’s author, title or copyright notice.

Last summer, more than 4,000 writers I signed a letter To the CEOs of OpenAI and other tech companies who have been accused of exploitative practices in building chatbots.

“It’s not a free resource for AI companies to ingest and make money from,” Bauerlein said of news media. “They pay for office space, they pay for electricity, they pay their workers. So why should the content they ingest be the only thing they don’t pay for?”

The Associated Press is among news organizations that have struck licensing deals with OpenAI over the past year; others include The Wall Street Journal, New York Post publisher News Corp, The Atlantic, Germany’s Axel Springer, Spain’s Prisa Media, France’s Le Monde and the London-based Financial Times.

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Mother Jones and CIR were both founded in the 1970s and merged earlier this year. Both are based in San Francisco, as is OpenAI.

The lawsuit from CIR, also known for its radio show and podcast Reveal, outlines the cost of producing investigative journalism and warns that losing control over copyrighted content will lead to less revenue and fewer reporters telling important stories in “today’s frivolous media landscape.” ”

“With so few investigative stories, the cost to democracy will be enormous,” the lawsuit says.


O’Brien reports from Providence, Rhode Island.


The Associated Press and OpenAI License and Technology Agreement Which allows OpenAI to access part of the AP’s text archives.

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