As generative AI enters the mainstream, each new day brings a new lawsuit.
Microsoft, GitHub and OpenAI are currently being sued in a class action motion that accuses them of violating copyright law by allowing Copilot, a code-generating AI system trained on billions of lines of public code, to regurgitate licensed code snippets without providing credit.
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I don’t really know how I feel about this. On one hand the algorithm is presumably spitting out something unique based on other work rather than regurgitating other people’s work. On the other hand, they are making use of a huge body of work to create that new unique work. Is that acceptable? I don’t know.
The other side of this is, can you really copyright code that has been produced by an ai? If something has been created by a mechanism, my very limited input from a human, can you really call that a creative work? In the monkey photo case, it was determined that the photograph that was taken by the monkey could not be copyrighted by the photographer because the photographer did not take the photo. If you have a mechanical monkey spitting out code for you, can you copyright the equivalent of a mechanical monkey pressing a button?
There are several issues with the generated content from AI systems and copyright aspects. In the USA, someone already filed a lawsuit with a class action on the most relevant issues related to Ai generated content concerning art representations. See https://stablediffusionlitigation.com