GitHub releases AI powered Copilot for Business at $19/mo

Kareem Anderson

Updated on:

GitHub Copilot logo and background

Despite a pending class action lawsuit, Microsoft, GitHub and OpenAI are pushing forward with their Copilot project and making it generally available for $19 a month per user.

According to a recent GitHub press release, “we’re excited to bring GitHub Copilot to organizations with simple and flexible license management, organization-wide policy controls, and industry-leading privacy—all for $19 USD/month per user.”

For $19 a month users will benefit from simple license management which will allow admins to enable GitHub Copilot for their teams while selecting which specific developers receive license access. Businesses on the $19 a month plan can also make use of organization-wide management policies that allow them to set policy controls for user settings for public code match.

The last benefit touted by GitHub for is Copilot program is perhaps the most controversial one and is partly why there is a pending class action lawsuit from developer and lawyer Mathew Butterick and Joseph Saveri Law Firm.

GitHub list the benefit of secure coding with the following:

  • Your code is safe with us. With Copilot for Business, we won’t retain code snippets, store or share your code regardless if the data is from public repositories, private repositories, non-GitHub repositories, or local files.

However, the premise of the Copilot project is that its crowdsourcing developer code helps build up a reserve of code to help template and automate code queries, or as Butterick affirms,

By train­ing their AI sys­tems on pub­lic GitHub repos­i­to­ries (though based on their pub­lic state­ments, pos­si­bly much more) we con­tend that the defen­dants have vio­lated the legal rights of a vast num­ber of cre­ators who posted code or other work under cer­tain open-source licenses on GitHub. Which licenses? A set of 11 pop­u­lar open-source licenses that all require attri­bu­tion of the author’s name and copy­right, includ­ing the MIT license, the GPL, and the Apache license. (These are enu­mer­ated in the appen­dix to the com­plaint.)

The GitHub press release does not address this seemingly outstanding contradiction, leaving many to assume there is some further fine print to be read when signing up for the $19 a month plan.