Assessing the State of Open Source Software Licensing and Generative AI

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Presented by

Christopher Tozzi, Senior Lecturer in IT and Society | Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

About this talk

If generative AI models train on open source code, do they violate open source licenses? That's a question that AI developers, open source advocates and lawyers continue to hash out. The answers they find are poised to have profound consequences both for open source communities, forcing them to rethink software licensing strategies; and for developers who create software with help from generative AI-based tools (such as Copilot), which may or may not turn out to create licensing liabilities. Although it remains unclear at present how the licensing debates surrounding open source and genAI will ultimately play out, it's not too early to predict what may plausibly happen. Tune into this session presented by professor and lecturer Christopher Tozzi as he assesses the history and current state of legal claims involving GenAI and open source software and offers guidance on how developers who leverage genAI coding tools can best protect themselves against potential licensing issues. About the speaker Christopher Tozzi, a professor and freelance writer, has been writing and teaching about technology for more than a decade, with particular focus on topics including open source, software development and AI/ML. He is the author of For Fun and Profit: A History of the Free and Open Source Software Revolution (MIT Press, 2017), as well as an adjunct research advisor for IDC and a frequent contributor to media sites such as TechTarget, InformationWeek and Data Center Knowledge.
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