YouTube warns OpenAI training AI with its creators’ videos is a “clear violation”

The issue of AI models utilizing individuals’ work without permission or compensation has sparked numerous lawsuits, involving entities like The New York Times and Getty Images, who have taken legal action against AI creators, alongside artists and writers. OpenAI’s new text-to-video AI tool, Sora, further fueled this debate when OpenAI CTO Mira Murati admitted uncertainty about whether it extracts data from platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, or Facebook.

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Responding to this uncertainty, YouTube’s CEO Neal Mohan issued a stern warning to OpenAI, emphasizing that using YouTube videos to train Sora would constitute a “clear violation” of the platform’s terms of use. Mohan stressed that creators expect their content to be respected when uploaded to the platform, and downloading transcripts or video snippets, as would be necessary for AI training, contravenes YouTube’s terms of service.

Mohan elaborated on this stance during an interview with Bloomberg Originals host Emily Chang, highlighting the importance of abiding by the platform’s terms of service. He emphasized that creators entrust their work to YouTube with certain expectations, including adherence to the terms of service, which prohibit unauthorized downloading of content. Mohan emphasized that respecting these terms is crucial for maintaining a fair and respectful ecosystem for content creators.

The uncertainty surrounding OpenAI’s training methods for Sora, ChatGPT, and DALL-E persists, with recent reports suggesting that OpenAI intends to utilize YouTube video transcriptions to train its upcoming AI model, GPT-5. In contrast, Google, a competitor of OpenAI, appears to be adhering to platform rules, particularly with YouTube, which it owns. Mohan explained that Google’s AI model, Gemini, also requires similar data for learning but ensures compliance by using only specific videos, depending on the permissions granted in each creator’s licensing agreement.