'Mother Jones' Slaps OpenAI: Nonprofit Parent Files Suit Over Alleged Use Of Content

OpenAI, which has been fighting litigation with The New York Times and eight other daily newspapers, has a new lawsuit on its hands. 

The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR), which operates Mother Jones magazine and the Reveal radio show, has sued OpenAI and majority shareholder Microsoft for using its content without permission. 

The suit, filed on Thursday with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleges that the defendants “copied, used, abridged, and displayed CIR’s valuable content without CIR’s permission or authorization, and without any compensation to CIR.”

CIR seeks damages and an injunction requiring the defendants to remove its works from their training sets. It claims the Copyright Act and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act have been violated. 

“OpenAI and Microsoft started vacuuming up our stories to make their product more powerful, but they never asked for permission or offered compensation, unlike other organizations that license our material,” says Monika Bauerlein, CEO of the Center for Investigative Reporting. 



The news comes as OpenAI has signed a deal to license Time magazine content, adding to agreements it had reached with FinancialTimes, News Corp., Vox Media The Atlantic and other publishers.

The CIR lawsuit stands out because it has been filed by a nonprofit.

“For-profit corporations like OpenAI and Microsoft can’t simply treat the work of nonprofit and independent publishers as free raw material for their products,” Bauerlein adds. “If this practice isn’t stopped, the public’s access to truthful information will be limited to AI-generated summaries of a disappearing news landscape.”

In May, OpenAI and Microsoft were sued by eight newspapers owned by Alden Global Capital’s MediaNews, including the New York Daily News. 

Microsoft and OpenAI have asked U.S. District Judge Sidney H. Stein to consolidate the two cases with the one filed earlier by New York Times, at least for the purposes of discovery and pre-trial motions.





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