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29 December 2023

New York Times Takes Legal Action Against Microsoft and OpenAI Alleging Intellectual Property Infringement

In a groundbreaking move to safeguard its intellectual property, The New York Times has filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, targeting tech giants Microsoft Corporation, OpenAI, Inc., and several associated entities. The lawsuit alleges the unauthorized use of The Times' copyrighted content in the development of artificial intelligence (AI) products, opening a legal battle that underscores the intricate intersection of journalism and AI.

Represented by law firms Susman Godfrey LLP and Rothwell, Figg, Ernst & Manbeck, P.C., The New York Times asserts that Microsoft and various OpenAI entities utilized the newspaper's copyrighted articles, investigations, opinion pieces, and more to train generative AI tools operating on large language models. The complaint places significant emphasis on the distinctive style of The Times' writing and editing, a hallmark of trust for its readers. It further underscores the newspaper's commitment to delivering accurate and reliable breaking news reporting in an era marked by rampant speculation and disinformation.

The legal action seeks various forms of relief, including an injunction to prevent further unauthorized use of The Times' content, statutory damages, costs, expenses, and attorneys' fees. The Times also demands any other appropriate relief deemed just and equitable by the court. Notably, the newspaper has requested a jury trial for all claims triable in this case, underscoring the gravity of the issues at hand and the commitment to protecting its intellectual property.

The lawsuit filed by The New York Times not only addresses the alleged infringement of its work but also makes a broader statement on the protection of intellectual property in the face of the increasing influence of AI in various industries. By choosing to seek legal remedies, The Times highlights the value of independent journalism and emphasizes the need to safeguard original content in the rapidly evolving landscape of technology and media.

This legal battle serves as a poignant reminder of the significance of maintaining the integrity and rights of original creative work in the age of AI innovation. The clash between The New York Times, Microsoft, and OpenAI signifies a crucial moment in the ongoing discourse surrounding intellectual property rights and the responsible use of AI technologies, shaping the future landscape of journalism and innovation.