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Re: The beast is live - Github Copilot

From: Marc Sunet
Subject: Re: The beast is live - Github Copilot
Date: Sat, 25 Jun 2022 13:47:24 -0700
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:91.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/91.9.1

Is copilot something only github can offer?  If the vast majority of
training data is from public repo that anyone can access, perhaps the
only thing stopping people from making something similar is the
computing power to convert the data to weights?

Well, I guess that and your will to comply with law, right?

People's code on Github is copyrighted/copylefted, you can't just use the code however you please. And I am not too familiar with the Github TOS, but I doubt they can override a license. The TOS could also make scraping illegal, making it illegal for you to obtain the data en mass, but not for Microsoft. Facebook and Instagram do this.

There is also the argument of whether GPL code output by a network should be considered a derivative work. After all, the network is basically just a different representation of its training inputs. I believe the FSF started working on this issue the moment Github Copilot was announced; I thought Copilot finally going live was of interest to the audience here.

Legal issues aside, I'd argue it's also kind of shitty to take other people's work and re-sell it under a $10/$100 subscription, with the abuse of confidence and trust that that comes with. Microsoft bought the platform when it was already popular, then subverted it for its own profit-making. Similar to Google/Youtube.


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