- 🥊 NY Times vs. Open AI
🥊 NY Times vs. Open AI
In today’s email:
Sneaky law firm rejections
The news, but for visual learners
Simmons & Simmons hit the jackpot
Slay your law firm applications like dragons
Why EU law is interested in your phone charger
What’s your New Year’s New Month’s resolution?
Lawyers who specialise in getting back your Amazon account
… and more!
EDITOR’S RAMBLE 🗣
If you’re overwhelmed by the idea of a ‘New Years Resolution’ (like I am), try what I do and just set a resolution for the month — 30 days, that’s it.
I made a post about it last year 👇️
If you don’t hit it, no biggie… You can just try again in less than a month!
I love hearing from the LittleLaw readers. So, reply to this email to let me know your resolutions.
FEATURED REPORT 📰
🥊 NY Times vs. Open AI
What's going on here?
The New York Times is suing OpenAI (the owner of ChatGPT) for alleged copyright infringement.
What does this mean?
The New York Times (NYT) has become the first major US media company to sue OpenAI over copyrighted issues linked to its work.
In its court filing in New York, the NYT claims OpenAI used millions of their published, copyrighted articles to train its products. The NYT also alleges that ChatGPT uses its articles that are only available to paid subscribers. This means it’s losing out on revenue from subscribers and advertising clicks from website visitors.
What does the NYT want?
💰️ Financial compensation: The NYT is looking for billions of dollars (there’s no exact number listed) in damages. It wants the companies to be held responsible for profiting from the alleged unlawful copying of its work.
⛔️ To stop their articles being used: The NYT’s also asking the court to order the tech companies to destroy any GPT or other models and training sets that use their articles.
What’s OpenAI’s defence?
OpenAI has said it was “surprised and disappointed” by the lawsuit.
The company responded that it respects the rights of content owners and creators and is committed to working with them to ensure they benefit from AI technology and new revenue models.
So, what will happen next?
👩⚖️ If it goes to court:
OpenAI will likely argue against the copyright infringement claims, relying on the "fair use" doctrine (which allows the use of copyrighted material for specific purposes like criticism, education, or news reporting without needing the copyright holder's permission)
They’ll argue that the fair use doctrine has been interpreted by several courts to mean that the use of copyrighted materials by innovators in transformative ways is permitted
🤝 If the parties settle:
OpenAI could enter into a licensing agreement with the NYT to use its content — last year, it agreed to this with the publishing giant, Axel Springer, to allow ChatGPT to use its content from outlets including Bild, Politico, and Business Insider
BUT, in April last year, the NYT unsuccessfully approached OpenAI to find a resolution over its copyright, so settlement might be unlikely
Is this the only copyright dispute against OpenAI?
Nope, OpenAI has several unresolved copyright disputes from last year…
✍️ A group of writers — including Games of Thrones author George Martin and legal writer John Grisham — sued OpenAI for copyright infringements
🎤 Comedian Sarah Silverman sued OpenAI as she claims the company used her book to train ChatGPT
💻️ A group of computing experts are suing OpenAI (and GitHub) as they allege their code was used without their permission to train an AI coding tool, Copilot
📚️ An open letter signed by 8,000 authors, including Margaret Atwood and Philip Pullman, accused OpenAI of exploitation and called for compensation for using their work
What’s the big picture effect?
Large language models like ChatGPT need a load of content to learn from. But people don’t want it to be trained on their content without them giving permission or receiving compensation.
These fears have led to strikes in other industries — for example, the writers strike in Hollywood is taking place partly because they are concerned how AI will impact their jobs.
In the UK, publishing chiefs wrote an open letter, calling on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to protect the intellectual property rights of creative industries from AI. They believe that the UK should be a leader in developing “regulatory guardrails” to ensure the “safe and responsible development of AI.”
The law will need to strike a balance between letting creative people to get their fair share while not getting in the way of innovation. The UK's move here could spark a global trend, showing the world how to respect creativity in the age of AI.
A BIT OF FUN 😄
…it does sneak up on us sometimes
IN OTHER NEWS 🗞
🏦 The Bank of England (BoE) has awarded a £3m legal contract to Simmons & Simmons for flexible legal resourcing until December 2025. This deal involves representing the BoE, providing legal advice, and mentoring junior lawyers. Meanwhile, the BoE also granted a £1.7m skilled persons review contract to EY, amid EY's recent cutbacks in legal services.
🛒 Amazon's strict enforcement of policies has led to a new legal niche: helping suspended sellers regain account access. This crackdown has resulted in a booming business for e-commerce law firms (£), with many Amazon merchants seeking legal help due to unclear suspension reasons and limited support from Amazon. The situation highlights the challenges small businesses face on major e-commerce platforms, where policy violations can impact their operations.
📱 The EU's Digital Markets Act, targeting Big Tech like Alphabet, Meta, and Amazon, is criticised as it focuses on access rather than consumer benefit. The act might lead to more complexity for users, with increased fees and tedious choice processes, rather than encouraging genuine competition. Critics worry this approach may repeat the GDPR's difficult user experience without significantly impacting the market dynamics.
💊 AstraZeneca has acquired Chinese cancer therapy company Gracell Biotechnologies for up to $1.2bn (£950m), underscoring the growing importance of China in its global strategy. Gracell specializes in innovative CAR-T therapy for cancer, which aligns with AstraZeneca's focus on cancer research. This move follows AstraZeneca's trend of expanding in China, its second-largest market, and partnering with local firms to enhance its drug offerings. This acquisition is a big move for AstraZeneca as it aims to boost its presence in the global pharmaceutical market. Freshfields and Ashurst were involved in this deal.
🔌 Starting in 2024, the EU will require all new mobile phones, tablets, and other portable devices to have a USB-C charging port, aiming to reduce e-waste and simplify charging. Laptops must comply by 2026. This move, part of the European Commission's long-standing effort to standardise chargers, also includes separating charger sales from device sales to minimise unused chargers.
AROUND THE WEB 🌐
🐉 Productivity: If you’re into RPG games, here’s a background noise creator to help you focus. Pretend you’re slaying dragons while you’re bashing out law firm applications!
🌍️ Languages: If your new year’s goal is to learn a foreign language, practice writing 65 words/day on this site. Build your streak to improve your skill.
🗞️ News: If you’re more of a visual person, join 250,000+ others keeping up with business, finance and tech news with visuals and data.*
* This is sponsored content
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