Microsoft And OpenAI Are Being Sued By Eight Newspapers For Copyright Violations

  • OpenAI and other companies use content online to train their chatbots.
  • The chatbots also display news articles if a user prompts them to. 
  • Eight newspapers are now suing OpenAI and Microsoft over their business practices.
  • The lawsuit asks for a jury trial.

( – ChatGPT is lauded as one of the most advanced artificial intelligence (AI) programs. It’s owned by Microsoft and was developed by OpenAI, and can write articles, create recipes, have conversations, and do all kinds of other stuff. The more a person uses it, the better its algorithm gets at detecting what the user needs.

While many industries might appreciate the technology, the news industry doesn’t appear to be one of them. Several newspapers are now suing Microsoft and OpenAI.

The Lawsuit

On April 30, eight newspapers owned by Alden Global Capital sued the tech companies. The newspapers suing are The Chicago Tribune, The New York Daily News, The Sun Sentinel of Florida, The Orlando Sentinel, The Denver Post, The San Jose Mercury News, The St. Paul Pioneer Press, and The Orange County Register. They filed a lawsuit in the US Southern District of New York (SDNY) and accused OpenAI and Microsoft of using millions of copyrighted articles without their permission.

The publications claim the tech companies are using the articles to train their AI products, including Microsoft Copilot and ChatGPT. The complaint alleges the chatbots regularly displayed entire articles that were hidden behind paywalls. The suit also accuses the tech company of not linking back to the source articles.

As a result, the newspapers claim that chatbots have reduced the need for people to pay for subscriptions, which has deprived the publications of revenue.

Newspapers rely on those subscriptions and licensing agreements to run their operations. Gone are the days when local newspapers made the majority of their money by selling ads in their print papers. Many news organizations are staying afloat by charging people a small monthly or annual fee to read their articles online.

Frank Pine, the executive editor of Alden’s newspapers, issued a statement saying they’ve “spent billions of dollars gathering information and reporting news at our publications.” He said that now they’re determined to prevent the tech companies from stealing their content “to build their own businesses” at the expense of the newspapers.

Tech Companies Respond

A spokesperson for Microsoft declined to comment on the lawsuit. However, a spokesperson for OpenAI said that the company wasn’t “previously aware” of Alden’s concerns. However, she claimed they had partnerships with many news organizations.

The spokeswoman went on to say OpenAI and its partners “see immense potential for AI tools like ChatGPT” to connect publishers to their readers and “enhance the news experience.”

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