Microsoft and OpenAI sued yet again by Chicago Tribune and New York Daily News

The publications accuse the companies of using their copyrighted materials for AI training.


A group of publications that include the Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News and the Orlando Sentinel are suing Microsoft and OpenAI, as reported by The Verge. The eight publications in this particular lawsuit, all owned by Alden Capital Group (ACG), are accusing the companies of "purloining millions" of their copyrighted articles "without permission and without payment to fuel the commercialization of their generative artificial intelligence products, including ChatGPT and Copilot."

This is but the latest lawsuit filed against Microsoft and OpenAI for their use of copyrighted materials without express consent from publishers. The New York Times also famously sued the companies late last year, alleging that they've used "almost a century's worth of copyrighted content." Their products can regurgitate Times' articles verbatim and can "mimic its expressive style," the publication said, even though they didn't have a prior licensing agreement. In a motion seeking to dismiss key parts of the lawsuit, Microsoft accused the Times of doomsday futurology by claiming that generative AI can pose a threat to independent journalism.

ACG's newspapers complain of the same thing, that the companies' chatbots are reproducing their articles word-for-word shortly after they're published without a prominent link back to the sources. They included several examples in their complaint. In addition, the chatbots are apparently suffering from hallucinations and are attributing inaccurate reporting to ACG's publications. The publisher argued that the defendants pay for the computers, the specialized chips and the electricity they use to build and operate their generative AI products. And yet they're using copyrighted articles "without permission and without paying for the privilege" even though they need content to train their large language models. The plaintiffs referenced OpenAI's previous admission that it would be "impossible to train today's leading AI models without using copyrighted materials."

OpenAI is no longer a non-profit company, the plaintiffs said, and is now valued at $90 billion. Meanwhile, ChatGPT and Copilot have added "hundreds of billions of dollars to Microsoft's market value." The publications are seeking an unspecified amount in damages and are asking the court to order the defendants to destroy GPT and LLM models that use their materials.