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OpenAI hit with new lawsuits from news outlets over AI training

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The Intercept, Raw Story, AlterNet accuse OpenAI of misusing articles

News outlets join New York Times in suing OpenAI over copyrights

By Blake Brittain

Feb 28 (Reuters) -News organizations The Intercept, Raw Story and AlterNet sued OpenAI in New York federal court on Wednesday, accusing the Microsoft-backed MSFT.O company of misusing their articles to train the artificial-intelligence system behind its popular chatbot ChatGPT.

The two lawsuits said that thousands of the outlets' articles were used to train ChatGPT to respond to human prompts, and that the chatbot reproduces their copyrighted material "verbatim or nearly verbatim" when prompted.

The lawsuits specifically accused OpenAI of violating a federal copyright law known as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by removing copyright-identifying information like authors and titles from the articles to facilitate infringement.

The organizations asked the court for monetary damages of at least $2,500 per violation and an order that would force OpenAI to stop misusing their work.

The Intercept's lawsuit also names Microsoft, OpenAI's largest financial backer, as a defendant and accuses its OpenAI-powered Bing AI chatbot of violating its rights.

Representatives for OpenAI and Microsoft did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the complaints.

Raw Story publisher Roxanne Cooper said in a statement that OpenAI "taught ChatGPT to ignore journalists' copyrights and hide its use of copyright-protected material." Raw Story's owners acquired AlterNet in 2018.

The Intercept's CEO Annie Chabel said she hopes the lawsuit will "send a strong message to AI developers who chose to ignore our copyrights and free ride on the hard work of our journalists."

OpenAI and other tech companies are facing several lawsuits in the U.S. from copyright owners including authors, visual artists and music publishers over the data used to train their generative AI systems. A complaint filed by the New York Times against OpenAI in December was the first such lawsuit from a media outlet.

Tech companies have said their AI systems make fair use of copyrighted material and that the lawsuits threaten the growth of the potential multitrillion-dollar AI industry. OpenAI also accused the Times on Monday of "hacking" its systems to create misleading evidence that its chatbot unlawfully reproduces the newspaper's articles.

The Times responded yesterday that it was "simply using OpenAI's products to look for evidence that they stole and reproduced The Times's copyrighted work."

The cases are Raw Story Media v. OpenAI Inc, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 1:24-cv-01514 and The Intercept Media Inc v. OpenAI Inc, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 1:24-cv-01515.

For the news outlets: Matt Topic, Jonathan Loevy and Michael Kanovitz of Loevy + Loevy

For OpenAI: attorney information not yet available

Read more:

NY Times sues OpenAI, Microsoft for infringing copyrighted works

OpenAI says New York Times 'hacked' ChatGPT to build copyright lawsuit

Reporting by Blake Brittain in Washington


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