OpenAI Responds to Lawsuit Allegations by The New York Times with Claims of Manipulated Prompts and Unshared Details

San Francisco, California – OpenAI has responded to an ongoing lawsuit initiated by The New York Times, alleging copyright infringement. In a blog post published on Jan. 8, OpenAI disputed the newspaper’s claims and accused it of omitting key details from the account of events leading up to the lawsuit.

According to OpenAI, discussions with The New York Times were progressing positively until their last communication on Dec. 19. The negotiations centered around a potential partnership that would allow the newspaper to connect with readers through OpenAI’s ChatGPT platform. OpenAI emphasized that the partnership would provide mutual benefits, with The New York Times gaining a new way to engage with readers and OpenAI users accessing quality reporting.

Responding to The New York Times’ concerns about regurgitation of content, OpenAI argued that the instances of regurgitated material were sourced from articles that are several years old and had been republished on third-party websites. OpenAI further alleged that The New York Times deliberately manipulated prompts to generate the reproduced content, an activity it deemed both unusual and impermissible.

OpenAI also highlighted its collaborative efforts with news organizations, including the Associated Press, Axel Springer, the American Journalism Project, and New York University. It emphasized that any training efforts falling outside these agreements are protected under “fair use.” However, OpenAI acknowledged the New York Times’ decision to exclude itself from such training in August 2023 but stated that an opt-out process is available.

In a submission to the U.K. Parliament, OpenAI stressed the importance of access to copyrighted material for AI training. The Guardian reported on Jan. 8 that OpenAI’s statement, originally released in December, claimed that AI training would be impossible without access to copyrighted content.

OpenAI’s response comes after The New York Times filed a lawsuit against the company on Dec. 27, accusing it of violating copyright laws and utilizing millions of its articles to train automated chatbots. The situation remains ongoing as the two entities navigate the legal proceedings.

OpenAI’s assertion of discussions and a potential partnership with The New York Times provides a different perspective on the lawsuit. The company’s claim that regurgitated material originated from older articles raises questions about the newspaper’s allegations. As the case unfolds, the debate around fair use and AI training with copyrighted content continues, prompting a broader discussion in the journalism and technology sectors.