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Microsoft Attempts to Dismiss Portions of Suit from The New York Times

Microsoft Files Motion to Dismiss Parts of Lawsuit Brought by The New York Times Company

The tech giant Microsoft has taken a legal stance in response to a lawsuit filed by The New York Times Company regarding alleged copyright infringement. On Monday, Microsoft filed a motion in federal court seeking to dismiss certain aspects of the lawsuit, which accuses Microsoft and its partner OpenAI of using Times articles without permission to train A.I. technologies such as the chatbot ChatGPT.

In the lawsuit filed by The Times on December 27, the news outlet claimed that Microsoft and OpenAI’s use of its articles for training A.I. technologies posed a threat to its market as a reliable source of information. The Times argued that chatbots like ChatGPT compete with traditional news outlets like itself.

Microsoft, in its motion filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, contended that the use of large language models (LLMs) to train chatbots did not harm the market for news articles and other materials. The company likened LLMs to videocassette recorders, emphasizing that both technologies are permissible under copyright law.

Legal Precedents and Arguments

The legal battle between The Times and Microsoft echoes past disputes in the realm of technology and copyright. Microsoft’s defense strategy resembled that of Sony in the Betamax VCR case of the late 1970s, where courts ruled that personal copying of content for viewing was fair use.

Microsoft sought to dismiss parts of the lawsuit by highlighting the lack of demonstrated harm to The Times. The tech company refuted claims of revenue loss from redirection of readers to its chatbot, arguing that The Times failed to provide concrete evidence of financial impact.

Responding to Microsoft’s motion, Ian Crosby, lead counsel for The Times, criticized the comparison to VCRs and emphasized the alleged copyright infringement by Microsoft and OpenAI in utilizing The Times’s works without permission.

As the legal proceedings unfold, it remains to be seen how the court will address the intersection of copyright law and transformative technologies like A.I. chatbots.

Fair Use and Transformative Technology

The dispute between The Times and Microsoft underscores broader debates around fair use and transformative technologies. A.I. companies like Microsoft and OpenAI have defended their use of copyrighted material for training purposes under the argument of fair use.

The Times presented instances where OpenAI technology reproduced excerpts from its articles, raising concerns about the extent of permissible use of copyrighted content. Microsoft contended that training A.I. on such material constitutes fair use due to the transformative nature of chatbot technology.

While Microsoft did not seek to dismiss arguments against fair use in its motion, the case highlights the complex legal landscape surrounding the intersection of intellectual property rights and technological innovation.

Leah Sirama
Leah Sirama
Leah Sirama, a lifelong enthusiast of Artificial Intelligence, has been exploring technology and the digital realm since childhood. Known for his creative thinking, he's dedicated to improving AI experiences for all, making him a respected figure in the field. His passion, curiosity, and creativity drive advancements in the AI world.


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