News Corp and OpenAI Strike Multi-Year Licensing Partnership to Train Chatbots

News Corp has become the latest company to ink a multi-year deal with OpenAI, which includes content licensing from the company’s media profile including The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, and the New York Post.

The partnership announced Wednesday comes as other media organizations have either struck similar licensing deals with AI companies or taken a litigious approach, in an effort to recover alleged damages from copyright material usage in training chatbots.

The News Corp. and OpenAI partnership grants the tech company the permission to display content from News Corp mastheads in response to chatbot questions and “to enhance its product, with the ultimate objective of providing people the ability to make informed choices based on reliable information,” the media company wrote in a release.

Among News Corp’s vast media profile, the publications included in the partnership are limited to The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, The New York Post, MarketWatch, Investor’s Business Daily FN, The Times, The Sunday Times, The Sun, The Australian, The Daily Telegraph, and some more of the company’s Australian and UK-based outlets.

Alongside the licensing agreement, News Corp will provide “journalistic expertise,” to OpenAI in an effort to ensure quality control of the tech company’s journalistic standards across its product offerings.

“We believe a historic agreement will set new standards for veracity, for virtue and for value in the digital age,” CEO Robert Thomson said in a statement. “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.”

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman added, “Our partnership with News Corp is a proud moment for journalism and technology … Together, we are setting the foundation for a future where AI deeply respects, enhances, and upholds the standards of world-class journalism.”

The deal has been in the works for a while, with Thomson alluding to an incoming partnership with OpenAI during the company’s latest shareholder calls.

Earlier this month, Thomson said, “We are working to promote our quality journalism in the age of Generative AI and are gratified that the most enlightened leaders in the industry appreciate the commercial and social value of that content.”

And in February the CEO said that News Corp intended to be a “core content provider for generative AI companies who need the highest quality timely content to ensure the relevance of their products.”

Thomson has also signaled caution as the new technology develops and allows for the increasing ability to generate and circulate misinformation, saying “AI stands for authentic and authenticated intelligence, not artificial intelligence or the artifice of intelligence.”

As media organizations grapple with whether to litigate AI companies who have utilized copyrighted material in training chatbots or to partner with them through licensing deals, News Corp joins media organizations like The AP, DotDash Meredith, and Axel Springer in the latter group.

On the other side, The New York Times launched a blockbuster lawsuit against both Microsoft and OpenAI in December, accusing the tech giants of copyright infringement. The case will likely set a precedent for how future AI cases involving media and copyright infringement are litigated.

Many other media organizations have followed suit, launching their own lawsuits against the AI tech giants, including eight Alden Global Capital-owned newsrooms and digital outlets Raw Story, Alternet, and The Intercept.

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