Read the letter: Twitter accuses Microsoft of using its data in unauthorized ways

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, speaks with CNBC on May sixteenth, 2023.

David A. Grogan | CNBC

Twitter is accusing Microsoft of using the social media firm’s data in ways that had been unauthorized and by no means disclosed.

Alex Spiro, a accomplice at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan and lawyer for Twitter proprietor Elon Musk, despatched a letter to Microsoft on Thursday laying out the claims, together with that the software program firm “might have been in violation of a number of provisions” of its settlement with Twitter over data use.

It’s the newest rift amongst tech corporations in the rising debate over who owns data that can be utilized to coach synthetic intelligence and machine studying software program. The New York Times first reported on the letter, a duplicate of which was obtained by CNBC.

After Musk led a buyout of Twitter in October and appointed himself CEO, the firm began charging to be used of its utility programming interface (API), which permits builders to embed tweets into their software program and providers and entry Twitter data.

The API was beforehand free to make use of for some researchers, companions and builders who agreed to Twitter’s phrases. Twitter API-driven apps embrace Hootsuite, Sprout Social and Sprinklr.

According to the letter from Spiro to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and the firm’s board, final month Microsoft “declined to pay even a reduced price for continued entry to Twitter’s APIs and content material.”

As of April, Microsoft had at the very least 5 merchandise that used the Twitter API, together with the Azure cloud, Bing search engine and Power Platform low-code application-development instruments, Spiro wrote.

The settlement restricts extreme use of Twitter’s programming interfaces. However, for one of the Microsoft providers using Twitter data, “account info outright states that it intends to permit its clients to ‘go round throttling limits,'” Spiro wrote.

A Microsoft spokesperson acknowledged receipt of the letter and advised CNBC the firm will overview it and “reply appropriately.”

“Today we heard from a regulation agency representing Twitter with some questions on our earlier use of the free Twitter API,” the spokesperson mentioned in an electronic mail. “We stay up for persevering with our long-term partnership with the firm.”

Musk has been overtly vital of Microsoft’s tight relationship with OpenAI, the creator of the chatbot ChatGPT. Musk was an early backer of OpenAI, however the firm has since raised billions of {dollars} from Microsoft, which is embedding its AI expertise into many core merchandise.

“Microsoft has a really sturdy say, if in a roundabout way controls, OpenAI at this level,” Musk told CNBC in an interview this week. Nadella recently challenged Musk’s claim in an interview with CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin, saying Microsoft has “a non-controlling curiosity” in the startup.

Spiro didn’t identify OpenAI or point out its ChatGPT and DALL-E functions or massive language fashions in the letter. He did press Microsoft for any particulars about, “an outline of any token pooling applied in any of the Microsoft Apps, together with the time interval(s) when any such token pooling occurred and the quantity of tokens that had been pooled.”

Musk and Nadella have had different interactions of late.

Last 12 months, Musk approached Nadella as he was elevating cash for his Twitter buyout, in response to text messages that turned public by way of court docket filings. Nadella wrote in one textual content to Musk, “will for positive follow-up on Teams suggestions!” Teams is Microsoft’s chat app.

Read the full letter from Twitter to Microsoft, here.

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