Google may soon be facing fresh legal action over copyright issues from the owner of the Daily Mail.
The search engine allegedly has illegally taken hundreds of thousands of the newspaper’s articles to train its ChatGPT rival, Bard.
Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT), the publishing house owned by Lord Rothermere, has reportedly already sought legal advice and is preparing to officially file a lawsuit against Google imminently, according to the Telegraph.
Why we care. As Pierre Far explained in Crawlers, search engines and the sleaze of generative AI companies, search engines used to give website operators full control over the crawling and indexing of their content. However, the rise of generative AI, built on large language models trained on web content, has changed all that. Many content creators and publishers have not happy about what Google and OpenAI have done and fear this could have detrimental effects.
What has Google done? Google allegedly created a dataset to develop Bard using 1 million articles from news publishers, without their permission or knowledge. It’s claimed that 75% of these stories were lifted from the Daily while the remaining 25% come from CNN’s website.
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Why the Daily Mail and CNN? Google allegedly used content created by these publishers because they both summarise articles in bullet points at the top of every story. It’s claimed that the search engine tested Bard’s capabilities by presenting it these bullet point summaries with missing text, then asking the chatbot to fill in the blanks based on the main body of the copy.
What has Google said? Google, DMGT and CNN have all declined to comment on the reports.
More legal troubles. News of this potential lawsuit comes just days after eight plaintiffs in the US, including a best-selling author from Texas, accused Google of illegally using copyrighted content and stealing the personal information of millions of Americans to train its AI products. The individuals filed a proposed class action lawsuit in San Francisco last week, and if Google is found guilty, it could be ordered to pay out $5 billion in compensation.