Microsoft, GitHub and OpenAI want the court to dismiss a proposed class action lawsuit accusing the companies of scrapping licensed code used to build GitHub’s AI-powered Copilot tool, Portal previously reported. In two filings filed in federal court in San Francisco on Thursday, Microsoft-owned GitHub and OpenAI say the allegations set out in the lawsuit fall short.
Things came to a head when programmer and attorney Matthew Butterick joined forces with the legal team at law firm Joseph Saveri to file a proposed class action lawsuit last November alleging the tool relied on “software piracy on an unprecedented scale.” Butterick and his legal team later filed a second proposed class action lawsuit on behalf of two anonymous software developers on similar grounds, which is the lawsuit Microsoft, GitHub and OpenAI are seeking to dismiss.
As noted in the filing, Microsoft and GitHub say the complaint “flaws on two material shortcomings: lack of infringement and lack of an otherwise viable claim,” while OpenAI similarly says the plaintiffs “allege a plethora of claims that do not Violations of asserting apparent legal rights.” The companies argue that the plaintiffs are citing “hypothetical events” to support their claim and say they do not describe how the tool harmed them personally.
“Copilot is not retracting anything from the publicly available open source code,” Microsoft and GitHub claim in the filing. “Rather, Copilot helps developers write code by generating suggestions based on what it has learned from collective knowledge of public code.”
Additionally, Microsoft and GitHub further allege that the plaintiffs are the ones who are “undermining open source principles” by seeking “an injunction and a multibillion-dollar windfall” regarding the “software that willingly share them as open source”. ”
The court hearing to dismiss the lawsuit will take place in May, and the law firm Joseph Saveri did not immediately respond to The Verge’s request for comment.
With other companies looking into AI, Microsoft, GitHub, and OpenAI aren’t the only ones facing legal issues. Earlier this month, law firm Butterick and Joseph Saveri filed another lawsuit alleging that the AI art tools developed by MidJourney, Stability AI, and DeviantArt violate copyright laws by illegally scraping artists’ work off the internet. Getty Images is also suing Stability AI over claims that the company’s stable diffusion tool “unlawfully” removed images from the site.