lethal_moustache t1_jadk99k wrote

I expect that the CO will leave all issues regarding the boundaries of what is copyrighted and what is not to the litigants in much the same way that patent 'quality' issues are left to litigants. So really, not much is changing other than the strengthening of the idea that non-persons cannot be the author of copyrightable works.

Generations of law students will write on to their law reviews by rehashing this issue. Yecch.


lethal_moustache t1_jaaobu2 wrote

Possibly. However the presumption will be that AI 'assisted' art is not entitled to copyright either. I expect the presumption to be rebuttable to some extent, but the author is going to have a difficult time trying to delineate what is and is not original to the author and not something that was added by the AI. In other words, copyright will be dragged into the morass of litigation over validity that patents go through.


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.