Microsoft [MSFT:US] has committed to taking legal responsibility for copyright infringement arising from AI-generated content in its office software, including Word, PowerPoint, and GitHub Copilot, an AI-driven coding assistant, as reported by the Financial Times on September 7. This move is aimed at addressing customer concerns regarding potential copyright conflicts related to AI-generated materials. Microsoft has pledged to defend customers of its AI tools from copyright lawsuits as long as they have used the built-in guardrails and content filters integrated into its products. These safeguards are designed to identify potentially infringing third-party content.
As Microsoft, a significant investor in OpenAI, continues to integrate AI technologies into its flagship products, such as GitHub Copilot, it aims to provide assistance to developers by converting comments into code, automating repetitive code writing, and suggesting alternative solutions. However, legal challenges have arisen, including a class-action lawsuit against both OpenAI and Microsoft, alleging the misuse of substantial amounts of personal data for AI model training. Additionally, another lawsuit has claimed that GitHub Copilot violated open-source software development licenses. While the legal landscape regarding AI and copyright-related disputes, laws, and precedents continues to evolve, experts suggest that Microsoft’s potential legal costs may not be substantial. In a similar vein, Adobe [ADBE:US] also made a commitment in June to indemnify users of its Firefly AI tool against copyright-related issues.