By Emma Roth | The Verge
Microsoft, GitHub, and OpenAI want the court to dismiss a proposed class action complaint that accuses the companies of scraping licensed code to build GitHub’s AI-powered Copilot tool, as reported earlier by Reuters. In a pair of filings submitted to a San Francisco federal court on Thursday, the Microsoft-owned GitHub and OpenAI say the claims outlined in the suit don’t hold up.
Launched in 2021, Copilot leverages OpenAI’s technology to generate and suggest lines of code directly within a programmer’s code editor. The tool, which is trained on publicly available code from GitHub, sparked concerns over whether it violates copyright laws soon after its release.
Things came to a head when programmer and lawyer, Matthew Butterick, teamed up with the legal team at Joseph Saveri Law Firm to file a proposed class action lawsuit last November, alleging the tool relies on “software piracy on an unprecedented scale.” Butterick and his legal team later filed a second proposed class action lawsuit on the behalf of two anonymous software developers on similar grounds, which is the suit Microsoft, GitHub, and OpenAI want dismissed.
Founder and President of Rose Law Group Jordan Rose says, “This is the start of what will be a robust string of litigation relating to AI.”