Microsoft, GitHub, and OpenAI have been sued by programmer and attorney Matthew Patrick for breaching numerous policies, copyright terms and laws that could amount to more than $9 billion in damages.
The prosecution claims that copilot github (Opens in a new tab)designed to translate natural language into code, violates the terms open source Licenses through machine learning training using billions of lines of existing code written by human programmers.
Computer (Opens in a new tab) It states that open source licenses such as GPL, Apache, and MIT require attribution of the author’s name and specific copyright identification.
Copyright GitHub Copilot
Take one user to Twitter (Opens in a new tab) After they went to GitHub Copilot “to see if it’s encrypting code from repositories [with] Restricted License.” They found a code they wrote to a previous employer that “has a license that allows it to be used only for free games and requires that the license be attached.”
The San Francisco-based law firm representing Patrick V website.
The group complaint filedated November 3, 2022, details how GitHub and OpenAI have violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) 3.6 million times.
This covers three Section 1202 violations for each of the 1.2 million Copilot users. The three violations are for distributing the licensed material without including attribution, copyright notice, or license terms.
“With a minimum statutory damages of $2,500 per violation, that translates to [$9 billion],” Patrick Law Firm claims in the filing.
That’s a lot of money, given that Microsoft acquired GitHub in 2018 for $7.5 billion.