Copyright Commitment for Microsoft’s Copilot Sets a New Standard in AI Ethics

In a groundbreaking move, Microsoft has unveiled its Copilot Copyright Commitment, a pledge aimed at addressing concerns surrounding intellectual property (IP) infringement accusations related to the use of their AI-powered Copilots. This commitment comes at a time when authors and artists are increasingly vocal about how AI models and businesses utilize their creative works, underscoring the need for clear boundaries and protection.

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Under this commitment, Microsoft assures its customers that they can employ Copilot services and the generated output without fear of copyright claims. In the event of a legal challenge, Microsoft willingly assumes the legal risks, demonstrating their dedication to safeguarding their customers' interests.

This initiative expands upon Microsoft's existing AI Customer Commitments and provides intellectual property indemnification assistance for commercial Copilot services. If a third party files a copyright infringement lawsuit against a commercial customer for using Microsoft's Copilots or their output, Microsoft will step in to defend the customer, covering any adverse judgments or settlements, provided the customer adheres to the established guidelines and content filters.

Microsoft's motivation for launching this program is rooted in their unwavering support for their customers' product use. Recognizing that commercial customers invest in their Copilots, Microsoft believes it is their responsibility to handle any legal concerns that may arise. This commitment aligns with their long-standing practice of protecting customers from product patent claims, extending this coverage to Copilot copyright claims.

Moreover, Microsoft acknowledges the concerns of authors and believes that it is their duty to address them directly. While generative AI introduces new complexities to copyright law, Microsoft asserts the importance of balancing the distribution of knowledge and the protection of authors' rights. To achieve this, they have integrated key guardrails into their Copilots, including filters and technologies designed to minimize the return of unauthorized content.

The Copilot Copyright Commitment applies to paid versions of Microsoft's commercial Copilot services and Bing Chat Enterprise, encompassing Microsoft 365 Copilot and GitHub Copilot. This ensures that users can leverage generative AI seamlessly within popular productivity tools like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, as well as in software development environments.

It is important to note that, despite this new benefit, Microsoft does not claim intellectual property rights in Copilot service outputs. This underscores their commitment to empowering users while respecting creators' rights.

As the world grapples with the evolving landscape of AI technology, this commitment sets a commendable precedent for responsible AI development and implementation.