News publications are facing a growing challenge from AI developers, as they are accused of using copyrighted material without permission to train their models, according to a report by the News Media Alliance (NMA).
In their 77-page white paper submitted to the United States Copyright Office, the NMA alleges that AI models are heavily reliant on scraping content from news publishers and journalists. This practice leads to AI systems generating content that competes with news outlets and infringes upon their copyrights.
The NMA argues that news publishers invest in producing content and assume risks, but it’s AI developers who reap the rewards, including users, data, brand recognition, and advertising revenue. This competition with AI has caused a decline in revenues, job opportunities, and strained relationships with their audiences for news outlets.
To address these concerns, the NMA has put forth several recommendations. They suggest that the Copyright Office should declare the use of a publication’s content to monetize AI systems as harmful to publishers. The group also calls for the implementation of various licensing models and transparency measures to restrict the use of copyrighted materials by AI models. Additionally, the NMA recommends measures to remove protected content from third-party websites.
While the NMA acknowledges the benefits of generative AI, it emphasizes that publications and journalists can also harness AI for tasks like proofreading, generating ideas, and optimizing content for search engines.
Notably, AI models like OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Google’s Bard, and Anthropic’s Claude have gained popularity in the past year. However, these AI models have faced criticism for their training methods, with copyright infringement claims being brought to court. Comedian Sarah Silverman, for instance, sued OpenAI and Meta in July, alleging the unauthorized use of her copyrighted work to train their AI systems. Google and OpenAI have also faced separate class-action lawsuits for alleged scraping of private user information from the internet.
In response to these challenges, Google has committed to taking legal responsibility if its customers are accused of copyright infringement when using its generative AI products on Google Cloud and Workspace. Notably, Google’s Bard search tool is not covered by this legal protection promise.
At the time of reporting, neither Google nor OpenAI had responded to requests for comments on these issues.