Software Freedom Conservancy, a US-based nonprofit organisation, has called on the developer community to shun Microsoft-owned open source repository GitHub that now aims to make money with its commercial, for-profit product called “Copilot”.
Software Freedom Conservancy, which is backed by Google, Red Hat and Mozilla, said that it has also ended all its own uses of GitHub, and announced a long-term plan to assist Fully Free and Open Source (FOSS) projects to migrate away from GitHub.
“While we will not mandate our existing member projects to move at this time, we will no longer accept new member projects that do not have a long-term plan to migrate away from GitHub,” the organisation said in a statement.
GitHub has more than 83 million developers on its platform, including over 7.2 million developers from India.
There are more than 100 million repositories hosted on GitHub.
The organisation has urged its member projects and community members to avoid GitHub (and all proprietary software development services and infrastructure).
Microsoft and GitHub launched “Copilot” almost a year ago, developed in partnership with OpenAI, an AI research organisation owned by Microsoft.
The company has now launched the commercial version of “Copilot” which is like Gmail’s “Smart Compose” tool that aims to help you suggest text as you type.
“Copilot appeared to be more of a research prototype than a product. Facts changed last week when GitHub announced Copilot as a commercial, for-profit product,” said Software Freedom Conservancy.
“Launching a for-profit product that disrespects the FOSS community in the way Copilot does simply makes the weight of GitHub’s bad behaviour too much to bear,” it added.
GitHub was yet to react to the Software Freedom Conservancy.
The organisation said that refusing GitHub’s services is the primary power developers have to send a “strong message to GitHub and Microsoft about their bad behaviour”.