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Microsoft will take legal responsibility for any copyright infringement litigation against Copilot users

"We 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 recently reported on how Microsoft 365 Copilot, the company’s generative AI-powered service that is integrated into it’s 365 suite of applications, would double or even triple users’ costs. It looks like Microsoft is doing everything it can to make that price increase worth it, as they have just announced that they will assume legal responsibility if a commercial user is sued for copyright infringement while using Copilot.

In a blog post, Microsoft has announced the Copilot Copyright Commitment, outlining how the company stand behind its users in the face of any copyright infringement claims. The company breaks down its reasoning for creating such an initiative in three main points:

“1.We believe in standing behind our customers when they use our products.

2. We are sensitive to the concerns of authors, and we believe that Microsoft rather than our customers should assume the responsibility to address them.

3. We have built important guardrails into our Copilots to help respect authors’ copyrights.”

In the post,  Vice Chair and President, Hossein Nowbar, CVP and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith broke down the company’s philosophy on generative AI in relation to copyright law, and how the blossoming AI industry will have to navigate such difficult issues going forward. “It is critical for authors to retain control of their rights under copyright law and earn a healthy return on their creations. And we should ensure that the content needed to train and ground AI models is not locked up in the hands of one or a few companies in ways that would stifle competition and innovation.”

The following was originally published July 20, 2023: 

Earlier this year, Microsoft announced Microsoft 365 Copilot, the AI-powered service that will assist the applications formerly collectively referred to as Microsoft Office. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams, and more will all benefit from 365 Copilot, which promises a huge productivity boost.

The pricing for the new feature has just been announced, however, and not everyone is excited. On top of the cost of Microsoft 365 that businesses are already paying, Copilot will cost an extra $30 a month for E3, E5, Business Standard, and Business Premium users. As Microsoft 365 Standard runs for $12.50 per month, while E3 runs $36 a month, Copilot will nearly double or triple businesses monthly costs on the service.

See also: Case Study: Microsoft Teams Rooms

Microsoft seems to believe that the investment will be worth it, however. The last several months have seen enterprise customers testing Copilot during the paid early access program, with Microsoft receiving feedback. In a blog post, Microsoft’s Head of Consumer Marketing Yusuf Mehdi says, “We’re learning that the more customers use Copilot, the more their enthusiasm for Copilot grows…Soon, no one will want to work without it.”


The following was originally published March 23, 2023: 

Last Thursday, Microsoft Corp. announced it is bringing the power of next-generation AI to its workplace productivity tools with Microsoft 365 Copilot. Currently in testing with select commercial customers, Copilot combines the power of large language models (LLMs) with business data and the Microsoft 365 apps, to unleash creativity, unlock productivity and uplevel skills.

Customers will experience Microsoft 365 Copilot in two ways

Microsoft 365 Copilot isn’t just a better way of doing the same things. It’s an entirely new way of working. Copilot will work alongside Microsoft 365 customers in two ways:

  • First, it is embedded in the Microsoft 365 apps people use every day — Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams and more.
  • Today, the company also announced an entirely new experience: Business Chat. Business Chat works across the LLM, the Microsoft 365 apps, and a customer’s calendar, emails, chats, documents, meetings and contacts to do things that people weren’t able to do before. With natural language prompts like “tell my team how we updated the product strategy,” Business Chat will generate a status update based on the morning’s meetings, emails and chat threads.

With Copilot, the customer is always in control. Customers decide what to keep, modify or discard. With these new tools, people can be more creative in Word, more analytical in Excel, more expressive in PowerPoint, more productive in Outlook and more collaborative in Teams.

“Copilot combines the power of large language models with your data and apps to turn your words into the most powerful productivity tool on the planet,” said Jared Spataro, corporate vice president, Modern Work and Business Applications, Microsoft. “By grounding in your business content and context, Copilot delivers results that are relevant and actionable. It’s enterprise-ready, built on Microsoft’s comprehensive approach to security, compliance, privacy and responsible AI. Copilot marks a new era of computing that will fundamentally transform the way we work.”

A whole new way to work

Microsoft 365 Copilot is seamlessly integrated in the apps people use every day, helping them stay in the flow of work and freeing them to focus more on the task at hand and less on the busy work.

  • Copilot in Word writes, edits, summarizes and creates right alongside people as they work.
  • Copilot in PowerPoint enables the creation process by turning ideas into a designed presentation through natural language commands.
  • Copilot in Excel helps unlock insights, identify trends or create professional-looking data visualizations in a fraction of the time.
  • Copilot in Outlook can help synthesize and manage the inbox to allow more time to be spent on actually communicating.
  • Copilot in Teams makes meetings more productive with real-time summaries and action items directly in the context of the conversation.
  • Copilot in Power Platform will help developers of all skill levels accelerate and streamline development with low-code tools with the introduction of two new capabilities within Power Apps and Power Virtual Agents.
  • Business Chat brings together data from across documents, presentations, email, calendar, notes and contacts to help summarize chats, write emails, find key dates or even write a plan based on other project files.

Microsoft has built Microsoft 365 Copilot with its existing commitments to data security and privacy in the enterprise, grounded in AI principles and Responsible AI Standard and decades of research. Copilot’s large language models are not trained on customer content or on individual prompts. Microsoft 365 Copilot will deliver enterprise-ready AI at scale.

Earlier this month Microsoft announced Dynamics 365 Copilot as the world’s first AI Copilot in both CRM and ERP to bring the next-generation AI to every line of business. And now, Copilot is coming to all Microsoft productivity apps — Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams, Microsoft Viva, Power Platform and more. Specifics on pricing and licensing will be shared soon. Microsoft 365 Copilot is already being tested with a small group of customers to get the critical feedback required to improve these models as they scale.

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