Tepp to Speak on NY Times v. OpenAI

NY Times v. OpenAI

On Tuesday, March 12 at Noon EDT, RightsClick co-founder Steve Tepp will join a panel discussing the copyright case NY Times v. OpenAI. The Times alleges copyright infringement by parent company Microsoft and its OpenAI subsidiary, which operates the ChatGPT generative AI platform. 

Like many authors and other creators, the Times is suing for the unauthorized scraping of their protected works for the purpose of building a generative AI system, which, in some cases, provides outputs that are substantially similar to the works ingested.

Tepp will discuss the two main legal issues in the case: whether OpenAI’s scraping of works involved “reproduction” under the Copyright Act and, if so, whether OpenAI has a viable fair use defense. On the first point, it seems clear that Open AI must have copied the works, and the only reason there can be any question about this is the lack of transparency as to how developer operates. We’ve seen this tactic before — hiding the details of the technology in ways that frustrate law enforcement. But it isn’t credible and Tepp doesn’t believe it will work.

The fair use question is the bigger one. Others on the panel are expected to argue that generative AI systems are so useful in general that the manner in which they were built should be overlooked. Tepp disagrees. In fact, the Supreme Court’s most recent copyright decision, Warhol Foundation v. Goldsmith, makes it clear that doing cool stuff isn’t enough to justify trampling creators’ rights. And just as RightsClick is a tool to help creators protect their rights, Tepp will be a voice for protecting creators in the courts.

You can register here to watch. There will be a Q&A session following the discussion.