News Corp on extracting cash from AI: ‘We are wooing, not suing’ 

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 12 February 2024
Credit: Niklas Ohlrogge via Unsplash

News Corp is “advanced” in negotiations with AI platforms, described as ”willing partners,” for payment for the use of premium content produced by the global media group.

Robert Thomson, the CEO of News, prefers to negotiate rather than line up lawyers to litigate on what he calls “stealing” .

Competitor The New York Times is suing OpenAI and Microsoft over use of copyrighted work by AI.

However, the Associated Press has a licensing deal with OpenAI to access the newswire's archive of news stories.

News Corp was successful in negotiating with global digital platforms for payment of news content and wants to do the same with companies needing content to train their AI.

The precise benefit from the deal with Google and Meta is unknown but analysts calculate the cash about $US100 million.

The incremental return from a deal with AI could be similar in News’ push to be paid by those who monetise other people's content.

Thomson had a few kind words for the “thoughtfulness” of Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, for understanding that “counterfeiting” is not creating. 

“Artificial intelligence with all its permutations, and perturbations, will play an increasingly important role at most businesses,” Thomson said when briefing analysts on strong December quarter results

“We expect to be a core content provider for generative AI companies who need the highest quality timely content to ensure the relevance of their products. 

“The corny callow cliche is that AI companies are selling the picks and shovels during the seeming gold rush. Well, we are selectively reselling gold nuggets well.

“While certain other media companies prefer litigation, we prefer consultation, as the former is merely creating a gold rush for lawyers. 

“Courtship is preferable to courtrooms. We are wooing, not suing.”

Thomson says those repurposing News Corp content without approval are stealing. 

“They are undermining creativity,” he said. “Counterfeiting is not created. The AI world is replete with content counterfeiters.”

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