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Category Archives: Copyright

Axel Springer vs. Google

Fortune: “Axel Springer is at Google’s throat again. The German news-publishing giant (for which I worked in my days at Politico) has a long history of battling Google over the issue of so-called ancillary copyright fees—payments for carrying snippets of text and thumbnail images in search results. But now it’s waging war on another front: advertising technology.Together with more than two dozen other European media groups, Springer yesterday launched a $2.3 billion lawsuit against Google in the district court of Amsterdam, which is a major European destination for antitrust damages claims. The publishing houses claim that Google has abused its dominant position in the adtech market, causing them significant losses in ad revenue and forcing them to pay excessive fees for using its adtech services. What exactly is Google supposed to have done wrong? In the words of the claimants’ lawyers, the company has acted as “broker, auctioneer and sales agent at the same time,” representing all sides in the ad-buying process—and preferencing itself the whole way. “If we compare ad auctions to a stock exchange, Google would represent both sellers and buyers, while also owning the exchange itself, thus creating a clear conflict of interest,” they explain. Google’s response to the suit is that it’s “speculative and opportunistic,” which is quite rich, given that Google had to pay a $268 million French antitrust fine less than three years ago over the same issue. Around the same time, the European Commission started sniffing around the firm’s playing-all-sides adtech model, and last June it formally charged Google for illegally abusing its position (if you’d like to see some neat diagrams of how Google’s strategy works, check out the Commission’s formal statement of objections). If it loses the case, Google would have to break up its ad business, which accounts for the vast majority of its revenue…”

Generative AI Might Finally Bend Copyright Past the Breaking Point

The Atlantic [unpaywalled] – For more than 200 years, copyright law has promoted a creative society. The chatbots could change everything. “It took Ralph Ellison seven years to write Invisible Man. It took J. D. Salinger about 10 to write The Catcher in the Rye. J. K. Rowling spent at least five years on the… Continue Reading

Tumblr and WordPress to Sell Users’ Data to Train AI Tools

404Media: “Tumblr and are preparing to sell user data to Midjourney and OpenAI, according to a source with internal knowledge about the deals and internal documentation referring to the deals. The exact types of data from each platform going to each company are not spelled out in documentation we’ve reviewed, but internal communications reviewed… Continue Reading

Why The New York Times might win its copyright lawsuit against OpenAI

Ars Technica: “The day after The New York Times sued OpenAI for copyright infringement, the author and systems architect Daniel Jeffries wrote an essay-length tweet arguing that the Times “has a near zero probability of winning” its lawsuit. As we write this, it has been retweeted 288 times and received 885,000 views. “Trying to get… Continue Reading

Judge rejects most ChatGPT copyright claims from book authors

Ars Technica: “A US district judge in California has largely sided with OpenAI, dismissing the majority of claims raised by authors alleging that large language models powering ChatGPT were illegally trained on pirated copies of their books without their permission. By allegedly repackaging original works as ChatGPT outputs, authors alleged, OpenAI’s most popular chatbot was just… Continue Reading

Microsoft announces AI newsroom projects with Semafor and others, as NYT lawsuit looms

GeekWire: “Microsoft announced five projects to help news organizations incorporate generative artificial intelligence into their operations, building on its existing efforts to use technology to support the role of journalism in democracy. The company will collaborate on different initiatives with Semafor, the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, the Online News Association, the GroundTruth… Continue Reading

The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

1845. “The Raven” is published in The Evening Mirror in New York, the 1st publication with the name of the author, Edgar Allan Poe. Its publication made Poe popular in his lifetime, although it did not bring him much financial success. The poem was soon reprinted, parodied, & illustrated. Critical opinion is divided as to… Continue Reading

What Happened to My Search Engine?

Ted Gioia – Or why tech upgrades are now mostly downgrades: “…Here are the things missing from the original search engines. They didn’t practice 24/7 surveillance of users. They didn’t sell user’s private information. They didn’t fill up search results with garbage in order to collect placement fees. They didn’t manipulate users—prodding them to use… Continue Reading

OpenAI warns copyright crackdown could doom ChatGPT

Telegraph: “The maker of ChatGPT has warned that a ban on using news and books to train chatbots would doom the development of artificial intelligence. OpenAI has told peers that it would be “impossible” to create services such as ChatGPT if it were prevented from relying on copyrighted works, as it seeks to influence potential… Continue Reading

More Than Just Mickey: Chaplin, Peter Pan, ‘Western Front’ Enter Public Domain

Rolling Stone “Winnie the Pooh’s Tigger, films by Buster Keaton, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, and — yes — the Mickey Mouse in Steamboat Willie are now fair use as of Jan. 1, Public Domain Day 2024. Jan. 1, isn’t just New Year’s Day — it’s also Public Domain Day, where thousands of cinematic treasures, literary classics,… Continue Reading

Times Sues OpenAI and Microsoft Over AI Use of Copyrighted Work

The New York Times [read free]: “The New York Times sued OpenAI and Microsoft for copyright infringement on Wednesday, opening a new front in the increasingly intense legal battle over the unauthorized use of published work to train artificial intelligence technologies. The Times is the first major American media organization to sue the companies, the… Continue Reading