Microsoft will defend commercial customers who are sued for copyright infringement as a result of using Microsoft Copilot to generate content, as part of its new Copilot Copyright Commitment.
“This new commitment extends our existing intellectual property indemnity support to commercial Copilot services and builds on our previous artificial intelligence customer commitments,” said Microsoft’s Brad Smith, vice chair and president, and Hossein Nowbar, corporate vice president and chief legal officer, in a recent blog post. “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.”
Microsoft has outlined three reasons for offering this commitment: wanting to support its customers; understanding the concerns of copyright holders; and building upon its guardrails to respect authors’ copyrights.
The commitment covers paying Copilot customers that use generative AI capabilities across Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, as well as via GitHub Copilot.
“Microsoft is bullish on the benefits of AI, but, as with any powerful technology, we’re clear-eyed about the challenges and risks associated with it, including protecting creative works,” said Smith and Nowbar. “It is our responsibility to help manage these risks by listening to and working with others in the tech sector, authors and artists and their representatives, government officials, the academic community, and civil society.”