Hand In Hand: Microsoft And OpenAI Ask Court To Combine 'New York Times,' Alden Cases

Microsoft and OpenAI are not waiting for the court to rule on their motions to dismiss the lawsuits filed by The New York Times, New York Daily News and related publications. 

Instead, they have asked U.S. District Judge Sidney H. Stein to consolidate the two cases, at least for discovery and pre-trial motions. 

A brief filed by Microsoft late last week argues that “The Times case and Daily News case should be combined because both cases involve nearly identical allegations relating to the same new technology.” 

This will slow things down as “the defendants will need time to conduct necessary discovery specific to eight new newspaper plaintiffs,” the brief states. 

Noting that discovery in the so-called Daily News case started on June 14, the defendants asked the court to “set a case schedule for the consolidated newspaper cases with at least six months of fact discovery.” This is to give the parties “sufficient time to fully and fairly prepare their legal cases.”



Such a ruling would also serve the interest of judicial economy, the paper states. 

Of course, anything can happen in six months, including out-of-court settlements. 

The New York Times filed suit last December, and the Daily News plaintiffs last month. The latter accuses the defendants of harvesting millions of copyrighted articles to create their “generative” artificial intelligence products including OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Microsoft’s Copilot, according to Chicago Tribune.

In addition, the complaint cites the alleged “purloining millions of the Publishers’ copyrighted articles without permission and without payment to fuel the commercialization of their generative artificial intelligence (“GenAI”) products, including ChatGPT and Copilot.” 

In addition to the Daily News, the plaintiffs in that lawsuit are newspapers owned by Alden Global Capital’s MediaNews Group, including Mercury News, Denver Post, Orange County Register and St. Paul Pioneer-Press; and Tribune Publishing’s Chicago Tribune, Orlando Sentinel and South Florida Sun Sentinel.

The cases are on file with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. 



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