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lethal_moustache t1_j6f9qp1 wrote

The issue here is whether the output of Copilot is a derivative work which would be subject to preexisting copyrights. On the proprietary side of things, a case can be made for damages, but the damages would be split up into microsized little portions. Any one copyright holder won't have been harmed much, but the harm still exists. What is more, copyright holders who have registered their copyrights may make a case for statutory damages. It won't take too many instances of statutory damages being found to make this very expensive for the defendants. Finally, ownership of Copilot output may accrue to the plaintiffs based on derivative rights.

On the open source side of things, any open source software used as training fodder for Copilot would make all output of the Copilot system open source, if the stickier GPL were used originally that is. This license would also, in many cases, require notice and publication of the Copilot output.

That the training data gets output based on some prompt is a very nice way to prove copyright infringement. Ironically, the same kind of software used to identify piracy on sites like YouTube would be very helpful in finding copyright violations in the output of a system like Copilot.


vgf89 t1_j6gfcnz wrote

The problem, both for this and image generation, is going to come down to Fair Use.

"the purpose and character of your use"

"the nature of the copyrighted work"

"the amount and substantiality of the portion taken"

"the effect of the use upon the potential market."

I'm fairly certain that every one of these 4 points can be argued in favor of generative AI's. At a minimum, these systems are extremely transformative, augment the capabilities of the user and organizations as a whole, have huge possible ways they can be used, and will spawn more quality content in larger projects.

At the same time, it will take and transform jobs beyond recognition, especially for art. You want concept art, and you want to iterate on it to get a feel before committing to larger, hand drawn professional pieces? Don't wait, prompt and iterate in the meeting room itself! Need thousands of textures to make every little thing in your game unique yet similar in style, more content than any number of artists you hire could reasonably create? Generate them. It'll replace work some artists do while massively expanding possibilities as a whole.

Current programming AIs are far less powerful in that regard, but are still good timesavers. If you need to rewrite some functions to make them simpler and fix bugs, or you have your API and relationships figured out and know exactly how to do it but want to save time writing it all out, being able to get the AI to write your for loops, filters, regexes, call the functions you need, etc all by typing a few comments in plain English saves a lot of time that's better spent on verification, debugging, and architecture. ChatGPT can also be a good way to begin new projects, though here there be dragons, it really likes to hallucinate imaginary API.


lethal_moustache t1_j6gl6lg wrote

I might find your argument more persuasive if generative AI's were real persons. They are tools created and used by for-profit organizations for profit generating purposes.


Ronny_Jotten t1_j6htzkr wrote

> I'm fairly certain that every one of these 4 points can be argued in favor of generative AI's.

Ok, but you haven't actually done that. You only argue that it makes things more convenient and cheap for the users, who no longer have to hire the actual programmers or artists whose work it samples and undercuts. That's exactly the thing that could cause it to fail the fourth rule for fair use.