OpenAI Negotiates Licensing with Major Media Amid NY Times Copyright Dispute

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OpenAI, known for its innovative AI technology, including ChatGPT, is currently engaged in strategic talks with several major media companies, including CNN, Fox Corp. and Time. These conversations whirl around licensing articles, videos and images for use by OpenAI, a move that gains significance amid the company’s ongoing legal battle with The New York Times over alleged copyright infringement.

The backdrop to these negotiations is the recent OpenAI lawsuit filed by The New York Times. The paper claims that OpenAI used its content without permission to train its AI models, including the widely popular ones ChatGPT. In response, OpenAI attributed this to a “rare bug” in their system and disputed the allegations, highlighting the complexities surrounding AI ethics and copyright laws.

As part of its strategy to address these legal and ethical challenges, OpenAI is seeking to secure formal content licenses with media giants. Discussions with CNN, Fox Corp. and Time are focused on acquiring diverse content to improve AI learning while reducing legal risks. Time CEO Jessica Sibley confirmed ongoing discussions with OpenAI and expressed optimism for a fair settlement.

However, the situation is not uniformly positive in the media landscape. While some media companies such as Guardian News & Media and Axel Springer SE, the parent company of Politico, have indicated a willingness to enter into negotiations, others such as The Washington Post remain hesitant. Concerns mainly revolve around compensation and the implications of AI technology for copyright law. For example, there is skepticism among media executives about reaching productive agreements until legal clarity is established.

An important aspect of these negotiations is the compensation offered to publishers. Reports indicate that OpenAI bids range from $1 million to $5 million per year, a figure that some leading publishers find insufficient. This comes on the back of a multi-year deal with Axel Springer SE worth tens of millions of dollars, setting a precedent for higher expectations among other publishers.

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Additionally, during a recent Senate Judiciary Subcommittee hearing, the need for clearer regulations was expressed, with calls for Congress to step in and establish rules for using copyrighted content in commercial generative AI.

OpenAI’s situation illustrates the delicate balance between technological innovation and intellectual property protection. As AI continues to evolve, the dynamic between AI developers and content creators is changing rapidly, highlighting the need for legal and ethical frameworks that address the complexities of this emerging field.

Image source: Shutterstock

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