The Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC), a non-profit community of open source advocates, today announced its withdrawal from GitHub in a scathing post urging its members and supporters to punish the platform once and for all.
In a nutshell:
The SFC's issue with GitHub stems from allegations that Microsoft and OpenAI trained an artificial intelligence system called Copilot on data released under an open source license.
But open source code is not a box that you can just take whatever you want and use it however you want.
It looks more like a photo. If a photographer doesn't charge you to use one of their images, you are morally and legally obligated to give credit where credit is due.
According to one post on the SFC website, Copilot does not do this although it uses code snippets from others:
Αυτό υποδηλώνει μακροχρόνια προβλήματα με το GitHub και τον κεντρικό λόγο για τον οποίο πρέπει να εγκαταλείψουμε όλοι μαζί την service. Αυτό που βλέπουμε με το Copilot, στη βασική υπηρεσία φιλοξενίας του GitHub, η συμπεριφορά του GitHub είναι πολύ χειρότερη από αυτή των ομοτίμων του. Δεν πιστεύουμε ότι η Amazon, η Atlassian, η GitLab ή οποιαδήποτε άλλη υπηρεσία φιλοξενίας είναι τέλειοι. Ωστόσο, μια σύγκριση της συμπεριφοράς του GitHub με αυτής των ομοτίμων του δείχνει ότι η συμπεριφορά του GitHub είναι πολύ χειρότερη.
For the story:
Το GitHub είναι ένα defacto αποθετήριο ανοιχτού κώδικα. Είναι σαν ένας plusδυασμός YouTube, Twitter και Reddit, αλλά για τους προγραμματιστές και τον κώδικα που παράγουν.
Of course, there are other options. But switching from one code storage service to another isn't the same as going from Instagram to TikTok.
Since then, the company has leveraged its position as OpenAI's main benefactor in a joint effort to build Copilot.
Please note that the only way to access Copilot is through a special invitation from Microsoft or with a paid subscription.
The SFC and other open source advocates practically went nuts when they saw Microsoft and OpenAI monetizing other people's code without mentioning where they got the code.
There is a solution;
Rather. The easy one is to shout until we kill the Copilot.
Alternatively, Microsoft and OpenAI should begin to indicate where they got each piece of code from in the Copilot database, so that a second model can be built that applies open source ethics.
Bringing code snippets back line by line into a database is a lot of work, and someone has to do it. Just because you can take a photo of the sunset with your iPhone doesn't mean you can steal someone else's sunset photo, call it yours, and sell it to others.
Copilot is a very successful project. The developer community seems to love it. It has received many positives from the media but the best part is that you have no choice. There is no opt-in or opt-out option.
Microsoft and OpenAI have our data and nothing can stop them from doing whatever they want with it.
Is resistance futile?
It will show... But from the I'm sure we mentioned something years ago about potatoes...