copilot copyright

Microsoft to protect users from lawsuits with the new Copilot Copyright Commitment

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Microsoft has unveiled its Copilot Copyright Commitment, assuring users the freedom to utilize Copilot services without the fear of copyright disputes. This commitment, set to take effect from October 1, 2023, extends Microsoft’s existing intellectual property (IP) indemnity support to encompass commercial Copilot services, further solidifying the company’s dedication to fostering innovation and creativity.

Under this commitment, if a third party initiates a copyright infringement lawsuit against a commercial customer for their use of Microsoft’s Copilot or the content they generate, Microsoft pledges to defend the customer and cover any adverse judgments or settlements resulting from the lawsuit. This assurance comes with the condition that customers employ the guardrails and content filters integrated into the products, demonstrating responsible usage.

The Copilot Copyright Commitment encompasses the following provisions and more:

  • Shield Against IP Claims: It extends coverage to shield against third-party intellectual property claims based on copyright, patent, trademark, trade secrets, or right of publicity. However, it does not extend to claims unrelated to intellectual property rights, such as trademark use in trade or commerce, defamation, false light, and other non-IP-related causes of action.
  • Inclusion of Output Content: The commitment covers the customer’s utilization and distribution of the output content generated by Microsoft’s Copilot services. However, it excludes the customer’s input data, any alterations to the output content, or any utilization of the output that may infringe upon the rights of others.
  • Mandatory Safety Measures: Customers are required to employ the content filters and other safety systems integrated into the product. Moreover, customers are explicitly advised against attempting to generate materials that may infringe on copyrights, including providing input to a Copilot service without the appropriate usage rights.

The commitment applies specifically to paid versions of Microsoft’s commercial Copilot services and Bing Chat Enterprise. This encompasses the Microsoft 365 Copilot, which introduces generative AI capabilities into applications like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, facilitating seamless data analysis and content transformation. Additionally, GitHub Copilot is included in this commitment, empowering developers to devote more time to innovative and transformative outputs by streamlining routine coding tasks.

Microsoft has said that the Copilot Copyright will not extend to free products, custom-built Copilot services, or consumer products and services, even if identified as a Copilot.

Microsoft’s new Copilot Copyright Commitment marks a significant step in supporting its commercial customers, ensuring they can utilize Copilot services without legal concerns. This move aligns with the company’s longstanding practice of defending customers against patent claims. Microsoft acknowledges the evolving landscape of generative AI and emphasizes the need for a balanced approach to advance knowledge while respecting authors’ rights. This initiative reflects Microsoft’s unwavering dedication to fostering creativity and innovation while maintaining legal integrity in the realm of AI technology.

Featured image credits: Pixabay

Read next: OpenAI unveils ChatGPT Enterprise, focusing on enterprise needs and data security

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