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Rant: Stop whatever you are doing and learn how licenses work 2022-06-22 10:46:00 +0300 copilot license github

Recently, Github announced that they are making Github Copilot available for everyone. Previously, it was in Beta and you could get it through the waiting list. When I saw the news, I thought I can give it a try. But not so surprisingly it was not free. You have 3 ways to get it:

  • Pay the subscription fee and get it.
  • Prove you are a student and get it for free.
  • Be a maintainer of a popular repository and get it for free.

I think I should be able to use it for free because I am a student but apparently they are not convinced yet. Anyways, that is a different story. I don't care if they will give me access to Github Copilot or not. It is not a big deal for me.

But some people were really angry about how Github Team being vague while defining the criteria as "being a maintainer of a popular open source project". I think they are right to some extent. If all you need is having a few thousands stars for a project, you could easily get that. I know a lot of troll or low effort repositories that get a lot of stars because they are funny.

Later, I found another tweet that explains how Github decides what is popular. According to this tweet, if you have a repository that is in top 1000 in one of the most popular 34 languages, you are eligible to get Github Copilot for free. This is better than the previous definition but you can still argue that it is not fair because one can create a package for checking if a number is even or not and get thousands of stars.

You can criticize this, I get that. But do not come up with silly arguments to justify yourself. Like how on earth would you think that Github is doing something bad because $10/month is too much for this service? It is business man, you pay if you think it is worth it. That's it. "I joined beta program and it was free, now they want to charge me if I want to continue using it. They did not tell me that." Uhhm... What? Are you aware that what you are using is another company's service and they have all rights to do whatever they want with their service? How you guys even can build up arguments like that?! This is crazy!

Some people argue that "what Github is doing is wrong because they used open source projects without consent." Another similar argument is that "what Github is doing is evil because they used projects developed by community and now they are selling it without giving any money to the contributors of these projects." Do you guys even have an idea what licenses stands for? If you don't want to some random person use your code, just license it that way. And if you licensed it with a GPL compatible or similar license you already gave rights anyone to use or sell your code. That is not Github's problem. That is your problem not understanding how licenses work. Stop complaining.