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ChatGPT's Owner Asks For Proof That 'New York Times' Articles Are Original. Here's the Media Company's Response. The "Times" called OpenAI's request "harassment and retaliation."

By Sherin Shibu Edited by Jessica Thomas

Key Takeaways

  • In December, the "New York Times" became the first major U.S. media company to sue OpenAI for copyright infringement.
  • Earlier this week, OpenAI requested documents such as reporters' notes, interview memos and records of files showing that the "NYT" articles in question are, in fact, original.
  • The "NYT" said such a request is unprecedented and "serves no purpose other than harassment and retaliation."

The New York Times sued OpenAI in December for copyright infringement, alleging that the AI giant used millions of its articles to train ChatGPT. Now OpenAI is asking for proof that NYT articles are actually original — and the NYT is calling the request "irrelevant, improper, and harassing."

OpenAI lawyers filed the request in New York district court on Monday. The ChatGPT-maker asked that the Times bring forth documents proving which portions of the millions of articles in question in the case "are original to the Times and what are not."

OpenAI specifically asked for interview memos, reporters' notes, records of files and other materials cited in NYT articles. It stated that it was not looking for the identities of the paper's sources.

The New York Times headquarters. (Photo by Gary Hershorn/Getty Images)

The Times has uncovered issues directly related to OpenAI with the help of sources, like an April investigation that revealed that OpenAI may have trained AI models on YouTube video transcriptions.

Related: OpenAI May Have Used YouTube Videos for AI Training

The NYT submitted a filing on Wednesday asserting that OpenAI's request "serves no purpose other than harassment and retaliation for The Times's decision to file this lawsuit."

The request for all notes, memos and cited materials was unprecedented and overly broad, according to the Times.

"OpenAI is not entitled to unbounded discovery into nearly 100 years of underlying reporters' files, on the off chance that such a frolic might conceivably raise a doubt about the validity of The Times's registered copyrights," the filing read.

Related: Authors Sue OpenAI for Alleged ChatGPT Copyright Infringement

Even if OpenAI isn't asking for the identities of confidential sources, the Times questioned how it could separate information the sources gave from the sources themselves.

The Times claims to be the first major U.S. media company to sue OpenAI over copyright infringement, which means that this case could set a precedent for future ones.

ChatGPT has an estimated 180 million monthly active users worldwide.

Related: ChatGPT's Former Chief Scientist Starts New AI Company: SSI

Sherin Shibu

Entrepreneur Staff

News Reporter

Sherin Shibu is a business news reporter at She previously worked for PCMag, Business Insider, The Messenger, and ZDNET as a reporter and copyeditor. Her areas of coverage encompass tech, business, strategy, finance, and even space. She is a Columbia University graduate.

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