New York Times sues Microsoft and OpenAI

U.S. news organisation the New York Times is suing ChatGPT-owner OpenAI over claims its copyright was infringed to train the system.

The New York Times has filed a lawsuit against OpenAI and Microsoft for using its news stories to train chatbots without permission or compensation. The lawsuit claims that the defendants have infringed on the paper’s intellectual property rights and seek to ‘free-ride’ on its investment in journalism. 

The lawsuit also alleges that the chatbots pose a threat to the jobs of journalists and the quality of news reporting. The New York Times is seeking damages and an injunction to stop the defendants from using its content. The lawsuit, which also names Microsoft as a defendant, says the firms should be held responsible for ‘billions of dollars’ in damages.


ChatGPT and other large language models (LLMs) ‘learn’ by analysing a massive amount of data often sourced online. The lawsuit claims ‘millions’ of articles published by the New York Times were used without its permission to make ChatGPT smarter, and claims the tool is now competing with the newspaper as a trustworthy information source.

It alleges that when asked about current events, ChatGPT will sometimes generate excerpts ‘verbatim’ from New York Times articles, which cannot be accessed without paying for a subscription.


According to the lawsuit, this means readers can get New York Times content without paying for it – meaning it is losing out on subscription revenue as well as advertising clicks from people visiting the website.

It also gave the example of the Bing search engine – which has some features powered by ChatGPT – producing results taken from a New York Times-owned website, without linking to the article or including referral links it uses to generate income.

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