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Microsoft seeks dismissal in New York Times lawsuit, cites ‘doomsday futurology’


Microsoft has requested the dismissal of certain aspects of The New York Times’ lawsuit against OpenAI, contending that it was based on what they called “doomsday futurology.”

The legal action by The New York Times accused both companies of utilizing their articles to train ChatGPT’s large language models and profiting from them.

In a separate development, OpenAI had earlier urged a federal judge to dismiss portions of the same copyright lawsuit, alleging that the newspaper used deceptive methods to produce misleading evidence.

In their legal documents, attorneys representing Microsoft referenced Jack Valenti, the former head of the Motion Picture Association of America, who likened the VCR to a threat akin to the Boston Strangler for filmmakers and audiences. They argued that this comparison was an instance of exaggerated alarmism against technology, which was eventually rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Microsoft portrayed the VCR as having actually benefited the entertainment industry by creating new revenue streams. They reiterated their position on Large Language Models (LLMs), describing them as a significant advancement in artificial intelligence.

Through their collaboration with OpenAI, Microsoft expressed their goal to make the power of LLMs accessible to the public, citing their belief in the ability of LLMs to enhance people’s lives and work processes.

Furthermore, Microsoft accused The New York Times of utilizing its influence and platform to challenge the latest technological breakthrough, the Large Language Model. They urged for the dismissal of the case on several grounds, including baseless claims of copyright infringement through GPT tools and unproven allegations of violations under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

The company also claimed that The New York Times had misrepresented their copyright assertions related to GPT tools as state law misappropriation torts, implying that the tools based on GPT technology were appropriating time-sensitive news and Wirecutter reviews.

Response from The New York Times

Ian Crosby, the lead attorney for The New York Times in this lawsuit from the law firm Susman Godfrey, commented on Monday (March 6), stating, “Microsoft does not deny that it collaborated with OpenAI to copy millions of The Times’ works without authorization to develop its tools.

“Rather, it makes a peculiar comparison between LLMs and VCRs, even though VCR manufacturers never argued that massive copyright infringement was necessary to create their products,” he remarked.

Featured image: Canva

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