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New York Times denies OpenAI's 'hacking' claim in copyright fight

Post Time:2024-03-13 Source:Reuters Author:Blake Brittain Views:

March 12 (Reuters) - The New York Times (NYT.N) has denied claims by OpenAI that it "hacked" the company's artificial intelligence systems to create misleading evidence of copyright infringement, calling the accusation as "irrelevant as it is false."

The Times in a court filing late on Monday said OpenAI was "grandstanding" in its request to dismiss parts of the newspaper's lawsuit alleging its articles were misused for artificial intelligence training.

Representatives for OpenAI did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday. A spokesperson for the Times declined to comment on the filing.

The Times sued OpenAI and its largest financial backer Microsoft (MSFT.O) in December, accusing them of using millions of its articles without permission to train chatbots to provide information to users.

The newspaper is among several prominent copyright owners including authors, visual artists and music publishers that have sued tech companies over the alleged misuse of their work in AI training.

The Times' complaint cited several instances in which programs like OpenAI's popular chatbot ChatGPT gave users near-verbatim excerpts of its articles when prompted.

OpenAI responded last month that the Times had paid an unnamed "hired gun" to manipulate its products into reproducing the newspaper's content. It asked the court to dismiss parts of the case, including claims that its AI-generated content infringes the Times' copyrights.

"In the ordinary course, one cannot use ChatGPT to serve up Times articles at will," OpenAI said. The company also said it would eventually prove that its AI training made fair use of copyrighted content.

The Times replied on Monday that it had simply used the "first few words or sentences" of its articles to prompt ChatGPT to recreate them.

"OpenAI's true grievance is not about how The Times conducted its investigation, but instead what that investigation exposed: that Defendants built their products by copying The Times's content on an unprecedented scale — a fact that OpenAI does not, and cannot, dispute," the Times said.

The case is New York Times Co v. Microsoft Corp, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 1:23-cv-11195.