Back in November, a court case was brought against Microsoft, GitHub, and OpenAI over the controversial GitHub Copilot service. According to the plaintiffs, the feature abuses copyright laws by taking code from people without permission. In new filings made to the San Francisco federal court, Microsoft's GitHub and OpenAI are asking for the case to be dismissed.
Microsoft first introduced GitHub Copilot in 2021, and it has been a preview feature on GitHub since then. It is a subscription service that costs $10 per month or $100 per year (per user). Copilot uses the OpenAI codex platform for artificial intelligence and helps plug gaps in their code.
Essentially, Copilot is a code compiler, scanner, and search tool that taps into the GitHub archive of public repositories to provide code to help developers fill gaps in theirs. Copilot has met with controversy that has not gone away since its launch nearly two years ago.
One of the biggest criticisms of the service is that Microsoft is charging people to access code that is available elsewhere for free.
In November, programmer and lawyer Matthew Butterick decided enough was enough and brought a lawsuit against Microsoft, GitHub, and Copilot co-developer, OpenAI. Butterick argues Microsoft is violating GitHub's policies and code ethics such as attribution. He claims it violates rights to take other people's code without permission.
In response, the three companies have made a filing asking for the case to be thrown out. Microsoft argues the complaint “fails on two intrinsic defects: lack of injury and lack of an otherwise viable claim.”
“Copilot withdraws nothing from the body of open source code available to the public,” Microsoft and GitHub add. “Rather, Copilot helps developers write code by generating suggestions based on what it has learned from the entire body of knowledge gleaned from public code.”
OpenAI takes a similar stance and claims the case alleges “a grab bag of claims that fail to plead violations of cognizable legal rights.”
A court hearing has now been set for May to decide if the case will go ahead or be dismissed.
Tip of the day: The Windows Clipboard history feature provides the functionality across device, space, and time, letting you copy on one computer and paste the text days later on a different PC. All of it is possible via the Windows 10 clipboard manager, which lets you view, delete, pin, and clear clipboard history at will.
In our tutorial we show you how to enable the feature, clear clipboard history, and enable/disable clipboard sync to meet your preferences. You can also create a clear clipboard shortcut for quick removal of stored content.