- OpenAI has been holding talks with media organizations to discuss a licensing deal.
- But tensions with The New York Times have increased, and the newspaper is exploring legal action, per NPR.
- News companies are concerned that chatbots could replace them if trained on their articles.
The New York Times is considering suing OpenAI over an intellectual property dispute, NPR reported.
The company behind ChatGPT — as well as other companies with AI tools like Google, Microsoft, and Adobe — have been in talks for months with media organizations to discuss copyright issues, the Financial Times reported in June.
People involved in the negotiations told the FT that news publishers could be paid a subscription fee by AI companies who want to use their content to develop the technology.
ChatGPT and Google’s Bard are large language models, which can output text because they’re trained on vast amounts of data scraped from the internet.
But media companies are worried that the rise of chatbots could turn readers away from news if the same information is easily accessible through the likes of ChatGPT.
The NYT’s top concern is that ChatGPT is becoming a direct competitor because it can generate text that answers questions based on the original reporting of its journalists, according to NPR.
And talks between The Times and OpenAI over a licensing deal have now become so tense that the newspaper’s lawyers are exploring whether to sue the company, NPR reported.
It is currently unclear whether OpenAI has trained its chatbot on the NYT’s articles, but if a judge finds it has violated copyright rules, it could be ordered to destroy ChatGPT’s dataset.
The chief executive of News Corp — which owns The Wall Street Journal and The Times of London, and has been involved in talks with OpenAI — said in a May media conference that the industry’s “collective IP is under threat and for which we should argue vociferously for compensation,” per the FT.
He added that AI was “designed so the reader will never visit a journalism website, thus fatally undermining that journalism.”
OpenAI is already facing a copyright lawsuit from authors including the comedian Sarah Silverman, who allege ChatGPT can summarize their work even though they didn’t give consent for their books to be fed into the chatbot.
The New York Times and OpenAI did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment, sent outside US working hours.
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