Judge dismisses lawsuit over GitHub Copilot AI coding assistant

Also named in the suit was GitHub owner Microsoft and OpenAI, the co-developer of Copilot.

The suit was filed by Matthew Butterick, a lawyer and open-source programmer, in conjunction with Joseph Saveri Law Firm. In a document providing background on the case the law firm said it “represents the first major step in the battle against intellectual-property violations in the tech industry arising from artificial intelligence systems,” and went on to argue that, “Despite Microsoft’s protestations to the contrary, it does not have the right to treat source code offered under an open-source license as if it were in the public domain.”

GitHub Copilot is a tool that suggests code snippets and functions in real time, right from the developer’s code editor. It is said to have been trained on billions of lines of code, a claim that, far from inspiring confidence, immediately drew the ire of the Free Software Foundation, which cried foul on Copilot’s use of freely licensed software.

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