ChatGPT-Maker Braces for Fight With The New York Times on ‘Fair Use’ of Copyrighted Works

12 January 2024

A barrage of high-profile lawsuits in a New York federal court will test the future of ChatGPT and other artificial intelligence products that wouldn’t be so eloquent had they not ingested huge troves of copyrighted human works.

But are AI chatbots — in this case, widely commercialized products made by OpenAI and its business partner Microsoft — breaking copyright and fair competition laws? According to the copyright attorney Ashima Aggarwal,  professional writers and media outlets will face a difficult fight to win that argument in court. “I would like to be optimistic on behalf of the authors, but I’m not. I just think they have an uphill battle here,” said Aggarwal.

One lawsuit comes from The New York Times. Another from a group of well-known novelists such as John Grisham, Jodi Picoult and George R.R. Martin. A third from bestselling nonfiction writers, including an author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning biography on which the hit movie “Oppenheimer” was based.

The Times filed a similar lawsuit against Chat-GPT and Microsoft in early December. The companies have yet to comment on the NYT lawsuit, but they described The Times lawsuit as “without merit”.  “Training AI models using publicly available internet materials is fair use, as supported by long-standing and widely accepted precedents,” said a Monday blog post from the OpenAI.

“Just because something is free on the internet, on a website, doesn’t mean you can copy it and email it, let alone use it to conduct commercial business,” Wolfe said. “Who’s going to win, I don’t know, but I’m certainly a proponent for protecting copyright for all of us. It drives innovation.”

Source – The New Your Times