Intellectual Property Law

New Matter SPRING 2024, VOLUME 49, EDITION 1

COPYRIGHT ROUNDUP

John R. Wierzbicki
Law Offices of John R. Wierzbicki

In this edition of the Copyright Roundup, we present the major developments in copyright through January, 2024. If you are interested in discussing items like these with other copyright lawyers, we invite you to the monthly meetings of the Copyright Interest Group which take place via Zoom at 12pm Pacific time on the first Wednesday of each month. Attendees have included representatives of the US Copyright Office and the USPTO, in-house counsel, academics, lawyers from large and small firms (and those in-between), and solo practitioners. There is also a newly formed ListServ to foster communication outside of our regularly scheduled meetings. If you would like to receive an invitation to join these lively (and no-stress) discussions, you may contact the IG’s Chair, Marcus Peterson (marcus.peterson@oracle.com) or the vice-chairs—Angus MacDonald (Angus.MacDonald@ucop.edu) or me (jwierzbickilaw@gmail.com).

NEW YORK TIMES SUES OPENAI AND MICROSOFT

On December 27, 2023, New York Times filed a copyright infringement suit against OpenAI and Microsoft, alleging that the ChatGPT and Copilot large language models "can generate output that recites the Times content verbatim, closely summarizes it, and mimics its expressive style," thus depriving the Times of revenue. It also alleges that in training its system, OpenAI gave the Times content "particular emphasis." Apparently, the Times had been negotiating a licensing deal with both companies but those talks fell through. The Times is seeking "billions of dollars in statutory and actual damages" along with injunctive relief and removal of the Times’ work from the companies’ datasets. The case is New York Times Co. v. Microsoft Corp. et al., case no. 1:23-cv-11195 (SDNY).

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