Raw Story Sues OpenAI for Violating Copyright Act

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Raw Story, America’s largest independent progressive news site, today filed suit against OpenAI for using thousands of Raw Story’s news articles to train ChatGPT in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

“Raw Story’s copyright-protected journalism is the result of significant efforts of human journalists who report the news,” said Raw Story Publisher Roxanne Cooper. “Rather than license that work, OpenAI taught ChatGPT to ignore journalists’ copyrights and hide its use of copyright-protected material.”

Raw Story is a trusted source of breaking political news and investigative journalism, whose mission is to surface underreported news and expose political hypocrisy. Begun as a small, one-man political blog, Raw Story grew to become the largest independent progressive news website in America. Today, more than 1,000,000 daily readers consume Raw Story journalism.

“It is time that news organizations fight back against Big Tech’s continued attempts to monetize other people’s work,” said Raw Story CEO and founder John Byrne. “For 20 years, Raw Story has spent millions of dollars in efforts to help Americans make important decisions about their leaders and their lives. Big Tech has decimated journalism. It’s time that publishers take a stand.”

Raw Story’s lawsuit, filed alongside suits by The Intercept and AlterNet, follows a complaint filed by The New York Times alleging massive copyright infringement. The suit is case 24-cv-01514, Raw Story Media, Inc. et al v. OpenAI, Inc. et al.

For two decades Raw Story has focused on political hypocrisy, white nationalists and domestic extremists. It received acclaim for its coverage of the Proud Boys in the lead-up to the Jan. 6, 2021 U.S. Capitol attack. Raw Story’s expose on a neo-Nazi youth network was featured in last week’s Washington Post.

In 2016, Raw Story’s Arun Gupta was on the scene when Oregon State Patrol shot and killed a militant who occupied an Oregon state park. Raw Story’s recent investigations have pursued neo-Nazis and the Proud Boys, who went largely ignored by the mainstream media until the Capitol riot.

Editor & Publisher has published several articles focused on Raw Story’s reporting. In 2022, E&P celebrated Raw Story reporter Jordan Green’s courageous reporting in the feature article, “At the Front Lines, on the Homefront — Domestic extremism deserves astute, relentless coverage, but there are few journalists on the beat.” According to E&P, Raw Story “predicted exactly what would happen that fateful day” of January 6, 2021, the morning of the U.S. Capitol riot.

Raw Story is also known for its breaking news summaries, which are valuable for AI models because they help train systems to summarize reports. Over the last 20 years, Raw Story has produced more than 200,000 articles, thousands of which were included in data sets used by OpenAI.

Raw Story reporters and editors are part of the Washington-Baltimore News Guild, which also represents the editorial staff of The Washington Post. The site’s breaking news model, begun in 2004, seeded the formation of other digital publishers. In recent years, Raw Story innovated to support hybrid free and paid investigative journalism, providing a blueprint for expanding critical investigative news reporting. It was named the best news/political blog in America by Editor & Publisher in both 2022 and 2023.

“The news industry has been subject to the whims of tech billionaires for two decades,” added Raw Story founder John Byrne. “We will not stand idly by as yet another wunderkind skims billions of dollars of profit from important human work.”


John Byrne, CEO


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