Motion to Dismiss Filed in OpenAI Class Action Lawsuit:

In these two articles, [1, 2], Blake Brittain and Emma Roth inform us that Microsoft, GitHub, and OpenAI are asking a San Francisco court to dismiss a lawsuit accusing them of misusing open-source code to train their AI systems. 

The anonymous plaintiffs allege that the companies have improperly monetized open-source code to train their artificial intelligence systems. Microsoft, et al, argue that the complaint is too vague, that it runs against the doctrine of “fair use,” and that the plaintiffs haven’t detailed what exact injuries they have suffered, as is necessary in such cases. The arguments are also entangled with defining the legal use of open source code.

Similar prior cases have found in favor of Microsoft, et al.

In the comments section of the second article, we get both arguments for and against, as we usually do with comments sections, as well as a lot of negative talk about Microsoft (also usual for comments sections). Theonlybutler3000 writes:

You misunderstand the AI. The AI does not verbatim quote the code, it is a case of probability that the next word will follow the last and the sum of its parts can match the source from where it took inspiration.This is no different to a human coming up with an idea (perhaps subconsciously referring to some prior content they’ve seen).The onus is on the person actually publishing that code to conduct a copyright check, this has always been the case in that code is checked for plagiarism. Imagine we were going through records of meeting notes suing businesses for discussing the mechanics of a copyrighted content (that were never implemented in the final code). Nobody could speak.

We imagine that, similar to the issues around fair use and VHS tapes in the eighties, this case will take its time being digested by the American legal system.

If you don’t recall that story, forty years ago copyright issues surrounding VHS tapes centered on the concept of fair use, the doctrine that allows for limited use of copyrighted material without permission. Some claimed that home video copies were acceptable under fair use as long as they were being used for private viewing and not to make money, a notion not shared by the entertainment industry.

Perhaps the most famous case around that issue was 1984’s “Sony vs. Universal City Studios,” in which the US Supreme Court ruled that using VHS tapes and VCRs at home constituted fair use.

Hopefully, in this case, a ruling in favor of fair use will again be the result.