Incident 240: GitHub Copilot, Copyright Infringement and Open Source Licensing

Description: Users of GitHub Copilot can produce source code subject to license requirements without attributing and licensing the code to the rights holder.


New ReportNew ReportNew ResponseNew ResponseDiscoverDiscover
Alleged: GitHub developed an AI system deployed by GitHub and programmers, which harmed Intellectual Property rights holders.

Incident Stats

Incident ID
Report Count
Incident Date
Sean McGregor

GMF Taxonomy Classifications

Taxonomy Details

Known AI Goal

Code Generation

Known AI Technology

Transformer, Language Modeling

Potential AI Technical Failure

Unauthorized Data, Data Memorization


A "variant" is an incident that shares the same causative factors, produces similar harms, and involves the same intelligent systems as a known AI incident. Rather than index variants as entirely separate incidents, we list variations of incidents under the first similar incident submitted to the database. Unlike other submission types to the incident database, variants are not required to have reporting in evidence external to the Incident Database. Learn more from the research paper.