The New York Times has been in a heated battle against OpenAI over the company’s use of copyrighted articles. Just recently, the popular publication site brought OpenAI into court looking to sue it for billions of dollars in damages. OpenAI responded to the New York Times during the lawsuit, alleging that it did not violate copyright law and that its practices are protected under fair use..
To catch you up, ChatGPT uses text-based data scraped from the internet. The data comes from a plethora of sources, and these sources also include big-name publications. Most large publications hide their news articles behind a paywall. The issue is that OpenAI is able to crawl these websites and use the information from their articles. If a person requests information about a news story, it’s possible that ChatGPT could regurgitate sections of copyrighted articles.
This gives users access to copyrighted and paywalled articles for free. This is the crux of the lawsuit.
OpenAI responded to the lawsuit from The New York Times
OpenAI is one of the leading companies in the generative AI field, and it’s come under a lot of fire over AI in general. This is not the company’s first legal tussle. According to the report, OpenAI defended Fair Use and its defense. This means that publicly available material can be used for news reporting, criticism, and commentary. While the New York Times’ articles are behind the paywall, they are still technically available to the public. So, they fall under this umbrella.
One thing that could tip the scale in this case is the concept of regurgitation. This is when an AI reproduces all or a piece of a work verbatim. This is the thing that The New York Times is slamming OpenAI for. If ChatGPT is indeed regurgitating sections of copyrighted work for non-paying readers to read, that could constitute a violation. It’s the equivalent of a person cutting and pasting parts of a New York Times article onto a free blog for everyone to read.
However, OpenAI states that it’s working on reducing the amount of regurgitation. We’re not quite sure how much of these articles are being regurgitated and how much is being generated from scratch. In any case, if OpenAI can completely phase out regurgitation, then there might not be an issue.
This case is still developing, so you want to stay tuned for more information and updates.
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