OpenAI has reached another content agreement with a well known mass media and publishing group that has significant reach.

OpenAI announced it had reached a “multi-year agreement” with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp to bring news content to OpenAI. Financial-terms were not disclosed.

The AI pioneer has been busy of late signing similar content deals with others. Last week for example OpenAI signed a content deal with social media platform Reddit that would give it access to all user posts on the platform.

Agreements and lawsuits

In the weeks prior to that, OpenAI had signed an agreement to license content from the Financial Times for the development of AI models.

OpenAI has also signed content deals with other online presences over the past year, including German media publisher Axel Springer and the Associated Press.

It comes after OpenAI has faced a number of lawsuits alleging unauthorised access to journalist content in order to train its AI models.

In February three online news outlets in the United States, filed legal action seeking at least $2,500 in damages for each time one of their stories has been used by ChatGPT.

That complaint came from The Intercept (an online American non-profit news organisation); Raw Story (an American progressive news website); and AlterNet (a left leaning news website in the US).

In December 2023 the New York Times became the first major US media organisation to sue OpenAI (and its main investor Microsoft).

That NYT lawsuit did not include an exact monetary demand, but it reportedly is seeking billions of dollars as compensation. The lawsuit cited several instances in which OpenAI and Microsoft chatbots gave users near-verbatim excerpts of NYT articles.

Shortly after the NYT lawsuit, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman in January expressed his surprise, saying OpenAI’s artificial intelligence models didn’t need to train on the publisher’s data.

News Corp

Now News Corp and OpenAI have announced a multi-year agreement to bring News Corp news content to OpenAI.

Through this partnership, OpenAI has permission to display content from News Corp mastheads in response to user questions and to enhance its products.

OpenAI will receive access to current and archived content from News Corp’s major news and information publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, MarketWatch, Investor’s Business Daily, FN, and New York Post; The Times, The Sunday Times and The Sun; The Australian, news.com.au, The Daily Telegraph, The Courier Mail, The Advertiser, and Herald Sun; and others.

The partnership does not include access to content from any of News Corp’s other businesses.

In addition to providing content, News Corp will share journalistic expertise with OpenAI.

“We believe an historic agreement will set new standards for veracity, for virtue and for value in the digital age,” said Robert Thomson, Chief Executive of News Corp. “We are delighted to have found principled partners in Sam Altman and his trusty, talented team who understand the commercial and social significance of journalists and journalism.”

“This landmark accord is not an end, but the beginning of a beautiful friendship in which we are jointly committed to creating and delivering insight and integrity instantaneously,” said Thomson.

“Our partnership with News Corp is a proud moment for journalism and technology,” said Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI. “We greatly value News Corp’s history as a leader in reporting breaking news around the world, and are excited to enhance our users’ access to its high quality reporting. Together, we are setting the foundation for a future where AI deeply respects, enhances, and upholds the standards of world-class journalism.”

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but the Wall Street Journal (owned by News Corp) reported that it could be worth more than $250 million over five years.

The tie-up also includes a guarantee that the content will not become available on ChatGPT immediately after it is published on one of the news websites, the WSJ report said.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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