GitHub sued for copyright infringement in the United States

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THE Microsoftits subsidiary GitHub and your business partner Open AI are the target of collective action within the American justice system. According to the claims, the programming assistant GitHub co-pilotwhich is based on artificial intelligence, would use entire pieces of code taken from public web repositories without giving credit to their authors.

“We dispute the legality of GitHub Copilot. This is the first step of a long journey. To our knowledge, this is the first class action lawsuit in the United States challenging the formation and production of AI systems. It won’t be the last. AI systems are not exempt from the law. Those who create and operate these systems must remain accountable for their creations.

Matthew Butterick, programmer and attorney who filed the lawsuit in the United States

The lawsuit, which is being filed in federal court in California, is still in its early stages and the outlook is still unclear given that the technology is still new and there isn’t much regulatory data to this subject. However, legal experts say this could impact the current trend of new AI tools emerging.

The use of AI by tech giants

The use of AI by tech giants
AI programs that generate paintings, photographs and illustrations from a prompt are built with algorithms trained on previous work produced by humans (Reproduction/Internet)

AI programs that generate paintings, photographs, and illustrations from a prompt, as well as create text for advertising, are all built with algorithms trained on previous human-produced work. And while the current process has raised several questions about intellectual property, it’s not the first time the subject has come up.

Visual artists were the first to question the legality and ethics of AI incorporating existing work. Some people who live off their creativity feel violated because the AI ​​art tools trained in their work can produce new images in the same style. in addition Recording Industry Association of Americaan entity that represents the music industry, reported that generating and remixing music with AI can generate “headache” involving copyright.

Some professionals who are also against the use of these intellectual properties explain themselves, in an interview granted to the site The edge, why are they worried about all this imbroglio. For them, leave it Microsoft, OpenAI or any other private for-profit company using third-party code and information without attribution would give carte blanche to end the open source movement.

Programming and development
Besides Microsoft and OpenAI, other companies have worked with AI in the generation of new business tools (Playback/Internet)

THE Microsoft and the Open AI are far from alone in mining copyrighted material from the web to train AI systems for profit. Lots of text-to-image AI like the open source program Steady broadcastwere created in exactly the same way.

The companies behind these programs insist that the use of this data is covered in the United States by the doctrine of fair use (fair use), which allows the use of other people’s copyrighted works in certain situations without infringing the owner’s content. But legal experts say that’s far from settled law, and litigation like Butterick’s class action lawsuit could overturn that view.

The GitHub Co-Pilot

GitHub co-pilot
GitHub Copilot is a powerful example of the creative and commercial potential of generative AI technology (Playback/Internet)

O Copilot is a powerful example of the creative and commercial potential of generative AI technology. The tool was created by GitHuba subsidiary of Microsoft which hosts the code of hundreds of millions of software projects. O GitHub achieved this by training an algorithm designed to generate code, developed by startup AI Open AIin the vast collection of code it stores, producing a system capable of completing large chunks of code after a programmer presses a few keys.

When he announced the solution, the GitHub indicated that professionals who use the Copilot could complete some tasks in less than half the time it would normally take to complete that activity. However, soon after, some programmers noticed that the Copilotsometimes reproduced recognizable code snippets copied from public code repositories.

What companies are saying

microsoft headquarters
Microsoft and OpenAI have yet to officially comment on the matter (Reproduction/Internet)

In response, Thomas Dohmke, CEO of GitHubsays that the Copilot now comes with a feature designed to prevent copying of existing code. “When you enable this option, Copilot will not suggest copyrighted material”he says. However, it remains to be seen whether this alone is enough to offer legal protection to the owners of such codes.

O GitHub also formally commented on the matter. In a statement, the company said it was “committed to innovating responsibly with Copilot from the start and we will continue to develop the product to better serve developers around the world🇧🇷 THE Open AI and the Microsofthowever, have not yet taken a position on the subject.

See as well

Still talking about the developer market, the showtech interviewed Julio Viana, regional director of the GitHub in Brazil. During the chat, he talked about the news of the platform and the developer market in Brazil. Check!

Sources: The edge, wired.

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