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Forbes threatens Perplexity with legal action

Axios: “Forbes sent a letter to the CEO of AI search startup Perplexity accusing the company of stealing text and images in a “willful infringement” of Forbes’ copyright rights, according to a copy of the letter obtained by Axios. Why it matters: Publishers fighting to protect their intellectual property are stuck in a game of whack-a-mole as they confront not just the biggest AI companies, like OpenAI or Google, but also smaller AI startups. Catch up quick: Forbes general counsel MariaRosa Cartolano sent the letter days after Forbes chief content officer Randall Lane accused Perplexity AI’s chatbot of ripping off Forbes’ reporting without attribution.

  • The chatbot tried to give credibility to the Forbes story it presented by citing other “sourced” reports that were actually just aggregated stories of Forbes’ original report.
  • Perplexity then sent a push notification to its subscribers of its version of the story and published an AI-generated podcast, which was then turned into a YouTube video, about the story.

That video, Lane said, “outranks all Forbes content on this topic within Google search.” Lane and the author of the original Forbes article have both highlighted ways the Perplexity AI chatbot failed to appropriately cite Forbes. The other side: Perplexity CEO Aravind Srinivas tried to defend the company’s practices, writing to the Forbes journalist on X that the incident was part of a new product feature that has “rough edges” and is being improved “with more feedback.”…

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