In two complaints filed last week, The Intercept Media, Inc, Raw Story Media, Inc. and AlterNet Media, Inc. became the latest companies to sue OpenAI for copyright infringement in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The Intercept also included Microsoft as a defendant.

Both complaints were filed by self-identified “news organizations,” and allege that those organizations’ copyrighted works were used to train OpenAI’s generative AI systems, ChatGPT, on how to mimic human speech and writing. According to the news organizations, when deciding what information to include in the training materials fed to ChatGPT:

Defendants had a choice: they could train ChatGPT using works of journalism with the copyright management information protected by the [Digital Millennium Copyright Act] intact, or they could strip it away. Defendants chose the latter, and in the process, trained ChatGPT not to acknowledge or respect copyright, not to notify ChatGPT users when the responses they received were protected by journalists’ copyrights, and not to provide attribution when using the works of human journalists.

The Complaints allege that Defendants knew that including “Plaintiffs’ works of journalism without author, title, and copyright information” in their training sets “would induce ChatGPT to provide responses to users that incorporated material from Plaintiffs’ copyright protected works or regurgitated copyright-protected works verbatim or nearly verbatim.”

Raw Story and AlterNet propose a financial motive for Defendants’ alleged stripping of copyright management information from journalistic works: “Defendants had reason to know that users of ChatGPT would be less likely to distribute ChatGPT responses if they were made aware of the author, title, and copyright information applicable to the material used to generate those responses.”

These cases mirror previous actions filed against Microsoft and OpenAI, including a lawsuit by the Author’s Guild, covered here, and a lawsuit by the New York Times, parts of which OpenAI has moved to dismiss.

The Raw Story and AlterNate case is 24 Civ. 1514, before the Hon. Colleen McMahon and the Intercept’s case is 24 Civ. 1515, before the Hon. Jennifer H. Rearden.