OpenAI Claims The New York Times “Hacked” ChatGPT To Develop A Copyright Case

OpenAI Claims The New York Times "Hacked" ChatGPT To Develop A Copyright Case

OpenAI claims that the New York Times “hacked” ChatGPT and other AI systems to fabricate evidence for the case. OpenAI has asked a federal judge to dismiss part of the newspaper’s copyright lawsuit against it.

OpenAI has asked a judge to dismiss parts of The New York Times lawsuit against it, alleging that to produce 100 instances of copyright infringement for its case, the media company “paid someone to hack OpenAI’s products,” such as ChatGPT.

According to a filing made on Monday, Feb. 26, in Manhattan federal court, OpenAI alleged it took the Times “tens of thousands of attempts to generate the highly anomalous results,” and the company did so using “deceptive prompts that blatantly violate OpenAI’s terms of use.”

Also read: The New York Times Files Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Against OpenAI and Microsoft

AI and copyright laws

However, courts have yet to address the critical question of whether AI training falls under fair use under copyright law. Judges have thrown out some infringement claims regarding the output of generative AI systems based on a lack of evidence that content produced by AI is similar to copyrighted works.

According to OpenAI, the allegations in the Times’ complaint do not meet its famously rigorous journalistic standards. They added that the truth, which will come out in this case, is that the Times paid someone to hack OpenAI’s products.

It took tens of thousands of attempts to generate the bizarre results that make up Exhibit J to the Complaint. They could do so only by targeting and exploiting a bug (which OpenAI has committed to addressing) by using deceptive prompts that blatantly violate OpenAI’s terms of use. And even then, they had to feed the tool portions of the articles they sought to elicit verbatim passages, virtually all of which already appear on multiple public websites.

The crux of the lawsuit

In December, The New York Times filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Microsoft and OpenAI, creating a new front in the escalating legal dispute over the unauthorized use of published works to train AI systems.

The companies behind ChatGPT and other well-known AI platforms are being sued by The Times for copyright violations related to their written works. The lawsuit, submitted to the Federal District Court in Manhattan, claims that automated chatbots trained on millions of articles published by The Times are now in competition with the news organization as a trustworthy source of information.

However, an exact monetary demand was not included in the lawsuit. Nevertheless, it states that billions of dollars in statutory and actual damages resulting from the unlawful copying and use of The Times’ uniquely valuable works should be attributed to the defendants. Additionally, it demanded that any chatbot model and training data using The Times’ copyrighted material be destroyed.

OpenAI asks the court to dismiss four claims.

To focus on the lawsuit, the motion asked the court to dismiss four claims from The Times’ complaint. According to OpenAI’s attorneys, The Times’ lawsuit regarding the acts of reproduction that occurred more than three years ago should be dismissed, and the papers claim that OpenAI violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, an amendment to U.S. copyright law passed in 1998 after the rise of the internet, which was not legally sound.

The Times was the first significant US media company to file a lawsuit against OpenAI for copyright violations of its written works.

Image credits: Shutterstock, CC images, Midjourney, Unsplash.