GitHub Copilot is a new AI help desk for software development integrated with Microsoft’s Visual Studio code. GitHub Copilot supports a variety of languages and frameworks and makes life easier for developers by offering suggestions for entire lines or entire functions right in the IDE. GitHub Copilot is powered by OpenAI Codex and has been trained on billions of lines of open source code.
The latest glitch caused the Free Software Foundation (FSF) to have a huge bee in its hat, calling the tool “unacceptable and unfair, from our point of view.”
The open source software advocate complains that Copilot requires closed source software such as Microsoft’s Visual Studio IDE or the Visual Studio Code Editor in order to function and that it constitutes a “service as a software substitute.” , which means it’s a way to gain power over other people’s computing.
The FSF felt that there were many issues with Copilot that had yet to be tested in the courts.
“Developers want to know if training a neural network on their software can be considered fair use. Others who might want to use Copilot are wondering if snippets and other material copied from repositories hosted on GitHub might result in copyright infringement. And while everything may be legally co-pacific, activists wonder if there isn’t something fundamentally unfair about a proprietary software company building a service out of their work, ”the FSF wrote.
To help answer these questions, the FSF has commissioned white papers that examine the following issues:
- Does Copilot’s formation on public repositories violate copyright? Fair use?
- How likely is the release of Copilot to generate actionable claims for violations of GPL-licensed works?
- Can developers using Copilot comply with free software licenses like the GPL?
- How can developers ensure that the code they copyright is protected against violations generated by Copilot?
- If Copilot generates code that results in an infringement of a licensed free software work, how can this infringement be discovered by the copyright holder?
- Is a trained AI / ML model copyrighted? Who owns the copyright?
- Should organizations like the FSF advocate for a change in copyright law in relation to these issues?
The FSF will pay $ 500 for published white papers and may release more funds if further research is warranted.
Those who want to make a submission can send it to [email protected] before August 21. Learn more about the process on FSF.org here.
Microsoft responded to the upcoming challenge by stating, “This is a new space, and we look forward to initiating a discussion with developers on these topics and leading the industry in setting appropriate standards for training. of AI models. “
Since Copilot sometimes steals entire functions from other open source applications, do our readers agree with the FSF, or is the FSF being hypocritical just because it is an AI rather than an AI? human reuse code? Let us know your perspective in the comments below.