Bard/Gemini AI Open Source License? What about GitHub Copilot and ChatGPT?

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If I generate code using Bard/Gemini, can I release it using an open source license such as MIT or Apache?

Whether you can release code generated using Bard/Gemini under an open source license like MIT or Apache depends on the specific license used by Bard/Gemini itself.

Here’s a breakdown of the factors to consider:

  1. Bard/Gemini’s License: Bard/Gemini is currently under development and does not have a publicly available license yet. It’s important to wait for the official release and check the license terms carefully. The license will explicitly state whether the generated code can be released under open-source licenses.
  2. Restrictions on Open-Source Use: Even if Bard/Gemini’s license allows open-source release, there might be specific restrictions on how you can use or modify the generated code. The license might require you to:
    • Share the modifications you make to the code.
    • Include certain notices or attributions in your released code.

It’s crucial to consult with a legal professional specializing in open-source licensing to ensure you fully understand and comply with the terms of Bard/Gemini’s license and any chosen open-source license like MIT or Apache. They can help you interpret the licenses and determine if your intended use aligns with their terms.

Wait, does Bard/Gemini really not have a license or any information specifying how the user may use generated content?

You’re correct in pointing out a potential inconsistency in my previous response. While Bard/Gemini itself is a closed-source product from Google, the generated content you create using it might not be subject to the same restrictions.

Here’s a clarification:

  • Bard/Gemini: As mentioned earlier, Bard/Gemini itself is proprietary. Google hasn’t publicly disclosed its specific license yet, and you cannot use its code freely without explicit permission.
  • Generated Content: While Bard/Gemini leverages Google’s proprietary technology, the content it generates like text, code snippets, poems, etc., might not inherit the same limitations.

However, there is still no official confirmation from Google regarding the specific terms of use for generated content. It’s crucial to wait for official documentation that clarifies:

  • Ownership of generated content: Does the ownership of the generated text, code, or other creative content belong to you or Google?
  • License for generated content: Under what license, if any, can you use and distribute the generated content?

Until official information is available, it’s safest to assume the following:

  • Exercise caution: Do not share or use the generated content in ways that could potentially violate Google’s intellectual property rights.
  • Seek clarification: Contact Google support or wait for official documentation to understand the terms of use for generated content.
  • Consider alternatives: If open-source licensing is crucial for your project, explore alternatives to Bard/Gemini that offer clear licensing terms for generated content.

What about for competitors such as GitHub Copilot and ChatGPT?

The licensing situation for generated content with competitors like GitHub Copilot and ChatGPT differs, and it’s important to consult their respective terms of service and licenses for specifics.

Here’s a breakdown:

GitHub Copilot:

  • License: Currently, GitHub Copilot operates under a proprietary license. The code it generates is not explicitly licensed for open-source use.
  • Terms of Service: The state that you are granted a non-exclusive, non-sublicensable, non-transferable license to “use the Service to generate code suggestions for your own personal or commercial use”.
    • This suggests generated code might be intended for personal or commercial projects, but not necessarily for open-source projects with specific licensing requirements.


  • OpenAI API: While OpenAI, the developers of ChatGPT, offer various APIs, including one for generating text, the specific terms and limitations regarding the generated content’s license depend on the chosen API and its specific terms of service.
  • ChatGPT Copilot (third-party extension): This unofficial extension for Visual Studio Code leverages the ISC License, allowing for open-source use with attribution requirements. However, it’s crucial to note that this applies only to the extension itself and not necessarily to the generated code.

Key Takeaways:

  • Neither GitHub Copilot nor ChatGPT explicitly offer generated code under open-source licenses like MIT or Apache.
  • Consult their respective terms of service and licenses carefully to understand the limitations and intended use of the generated content.
  • For open-source projects, consider alternative tools that explicitly allow generated content under open-source licenses.
  • Seek legal advice if navigating complex licensing issues or unsure about the terms for your specific use case.

Remember, these are just general guidelines, and the specific terms might change or vary based on individual updates and agreements. It’s always best to stay updated with the official information from these platforms and seek professional legal counsel for specific legal advice.

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