According to sources from NPR, attorneys for The New York Times are looking into the prospect of filing a lawsuit against OpenAI to protect the intellectual property rights connected to its journalistic output. Recent discussions between The Times and the developers of ChatGPT have been marked by tense negotiations aimed at reaching a licensing agreement.  According to this deal, OpenAI would pay The Times for using its news articles in the tech company's artificial intelligence technologies. But because of how heated these discussions have gotten, The Times is thinking about taking legal action.

A serious legal dispute involving copyright protection in the context of generative artificial intelligence would result from The Times suing OpenAI.

The Times is deeply concerned about how ChatGPT appears to be turning into a direct rival to the publication. Previously, our AI technology produced material in response to inquiries by using original reporting and writing created by The Times personnel. The use of generative AI techniques in search engines by technology businesses feeds this anxiety even further. For instance, ChatGPT has been included into the Bing search engine by Microsoft, a significant investor in OpenAI.

Users searching online could see AI-generated suggestions that have been packaged with information from The Times as a possible result. An insider participating in the ongoing discussions highlighted that this might greatly reduce the requirement for visitors to visit The Times website.

Large language models like ChatGPT collect a lot of information from the internet to help them respond to different questions. This data collecting method frequently takes place without express consent. This practice's legality is still up in the air.

Under federal law, the infringing items may be removed after the legal processes are over if OpenAI is proven to have violated copyright throughout this process.

In practise, a federal judge might compel the deletion of ChatGPT's dataset if they find that OpenAI copied content from The Times without permission in order to train its AI model. As a result, OpenAI would be forced to reconstruct its dataset using only allowed information.

Federal copyright law also imposes severe financial penalties, with potential fines of up to $150,000 for each willful violation.

Following concerns that The Times will not join other media organisations in efforts to negotiate conditions with technology firms about the use of their material in AI models, conversations between The Times and OpenAI have been ongoing. NPR received confirmation from a representative of The Times that this choice has nothing to do with any prospective legal action against OpenAI.

The Times' proposed lawsuit would be the latest in a string of recent legal proceedings against OpenAI.

Notably, comedian Sarah Silverman has joined a class-action lawsuit against OpenAI, claiming that the business improperly used her 2010 autobiography "The Bedwetter" in its products. She alleges that the business used an unlawful web repository to access her work.

Copyright lawsuits have also been filed against generative AI companies, notably Stability AI, the company behind the picture generator Stable Diffusion. Getty Images has filed a lawsuit against Stability AI for allegedly exploiting over 12 million Getty Images images without permission to train an AI model.