Is GitHub Copilot an AI parasite trained in the realms of fair use on public code anywhere on the internet? Or, is it a much needed automation layer to all the reasons we open source in the first place?
When I first wrote about Copilot, I said “I’m not worried about its effects on open source.” In the short term, I’m still not worried. But as I reflected on my own journey through open source—nearly 25 years—I realized that I was missing the bigger picture. After all, open source isn’t a fixed group of people. It’s an ever-growing, ever-changing collective intelligence, continually being renewed by fresh minds. We set new standards and challenges for each other, and thereby raise our expectations for what we can accomplish.
Amidst this grand alchemy, Copilot interlopes. Its goal is to arrogate the energy of open-source to itself. We needn’t delve into Microsoft’s very checkered history with open source to see Copilot for what it is: a parasite.
The legality of Copilot must be tested before the damage to open source becomes irreparable. That’s why I’m suiting up.
What are your thoughts on this investigation and “potential lawsuit” against GitHub Copilot?