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Microsoft Says It Will Provide Protection From Copyright Claims To Customers Using its Copilot AI Services

The company will also pay the amount of any adverse judgments or settlements in such copyright lawsuits “as long as the customer used the guardrails and content filters” built into the company’s products.

We missed this earlier: Microsoft announced its new ‘Copilot Copyright Commitment’ saying that the company will offer protection from Copyright claims to its customers using its AI-powered Copilot services. On September 7, the company stated in a blogpost that it will “assume responsibility for the potential legal risks involved” if customers are challenged on Copyright grounds for using the output generated by Microsoft’s generative AI services.

“Specifically, if a third party sues a commercial customer for copyright infringement for using Microsoft’s Copilots or the output they generate, we will defend the customer and pay the amount of any adverse judgments or settlements that result from the lawsuit, as long as the customer used the guardrails and content filters we have built into our products,” the blog noted.

Why it matters:

The generative AI boom has triggered concerns about Copyright infringement and unauthorised use of original literary or artistic works, which can slip into a vast trove of data used for training AI models. Artists, coders, and news publishers in the recent past have demanded compensation for their works being scraped by AI tech giants for building their AI products. Companies like Google, Microsoft, Anthropic, OpenAI, and Meta in July committed to tackling issues related to cybersecurity, misinformation, and the credibility of AI systems but failed to address Copyright concerns.

Also Read: US Copyright Office Seeks Public Views On Study Into AI And Copyright

While Microsoft, in its blog post, said that its guardrails help “respect an authors’ copyright”, is it enough to prevent Copyright violations or even concentration of such data in the hands of a few leading companies? Further, transparency is also critical in ensuring that a creator’s rights are respected. Copyright lawyers that MediaNama spoke to about AI and copyright issues had highlighted that there is not enough visibility on the source of data and the manner in which existing datasets are used for machine learning purposes. Thus, in what ways will the company address demands for disclosure of Copyrightable material becomes important to note.

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Also Read: Google, Microsoft, OpenAI Collaborate To Establish ‘Frontier Model Forum’ For Artificial Intelligence

More about Microsoft’s assurance to its customers:

With the new commitment, Microsoft is said to have extended its existing intellectual property indemnification coverage to copyright claims concerning the use of Copilots and the output they produce. Such protection is applicable specifically for paid versions of Microsoft commercial Copilot services and Bing Chat Enterprise, which includes Microsoft 365 Copilot and GitHub Copilot.

The Copyright Commitment requires customers to use the built-in “content filters and other safety systems” while using Copilot services. These filters and other technological features are meant to reduce the chances of the AI service generating infringing content. The other condition to avail the service states that the users must also refrain from making attempts that would generate infringing materials, such as providing input to a Copilot service without having appropriate rights to use.

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Written By

Curious about privacy, surveillance developments and the intersection of technology with education, caste and welfare rights.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.



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