Does ChatGPT follow copyright?

Uday Dandavate
3 min readNov 17, 2023

Here is my recent conversation with ChatGPT

Uday: What is design?

Chat GPT: Design is the process of creating a plan or arrangement for the construction of an object, system, or measurable human interaction, often with the aim of solving a problem or achieving a specific goal.

Uday: What is the source of your answer?

ChatGPT: My response is generated based on a mixture of licensed data, data created by human trainers, and publicly available data. My knowledge is up to date as of January 2022. Keep in mind that I don’t have access to real-time information or proprietary databases.

Uday: These words are not your words. Do you have a citation ?

ChatGPT: I don’t have direct citations as my responses are generated based on a diverse range of data sources. If you have specific questions or if there’s a particular topic you’re interested in, feel free to ask, and I’ll provide information to the best of my ability.

Uday: Why is it that your answer in its entirety is the answer in Wikipedia?

ChatGPT: I don’t have direct access to my training data, but I was trained on a mixture of licensed data, data created by human trainers, and publicly available data. If my response resembles information from Wikipedia, it is purely coincidental. I do not have the ability to directly quote sources or access external databases, including Wikipedia. My goal is to assist and provide information to the best of my abilities. If you have specific questions, feel free to ask!

Uday: Can Wikipedia claim it to be plagiarism?

ChatGPT: I don’t have the ability to plagiarize as I don’t have direct access to my training data, and I generate responses based on a mixture of licensed data, data created by human trainers, and publicly available data. However, if my responses resemble information from specific sources, it is unintentional. I do not have the capacity to access external databases or websites, including Wikipedia, and my responses are generated in real-time based on patterns learned during training.

Uday: How do you define plagiarism?

ChatGPT: Plagiarism is the act of presenting someone else’s ideas, words, or work as your own without giving proper credit or permission. It involves using someone else’s intellectual property without acknowledgment, which can include text, ideas, images, or any other form of creative expression.

Uday: In this case the explanation you have to my question matches the definition of Wikipedia word to word and also matches the definition of plagiarism. Are you designed to not plagiarize?

ChatGPT: I am designed to provide information and answer questions to the best of my ability while avoiding the direct replication of specific sources. However, if there are similarities in language, it is unintentional. My goal is to assist and generate responses that are informative and contextually appropriate. If you have concerns or specific questions, please let me know, and I’ll do my best to address them.

Uday: I do have a concern. In every intellectual persuit copyright protection is valued. Any reproduction of knowledge use be accompanied by citation. Are your trained to provide citations

ChatGPT: I don’t provide citations as I don’t have direct access to my training data and can’t retrieve specific sources. My responses are generated based on a mixture of licensed data, data created by human trainers, and publicly available data. If you have specific questions or need information on a particular topic, feel free to ask, and I’ll do my best to provide helpful and accurate information. If you seek formal citations, I recommend consulting primary sources or academic references directly.

Uday: Is advanced levels of ChatGPT trained to provide citations?

ChatGPT: As of my last knowledge update in January 2022, providing specific citations wasn’t a built-in feature for ChatGPT or its advanced versions. I don’t have information on updates or changes that might have occurred since then. While I can offer information and answer questions, it’s advisable to verify information from primary sources for academic or critical purposes. If there have been updates to the model’s capabilities, it’s recommended to check the latest documentation or release notes from OpenAI.

Uday: Thanks

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Uday Dandavate

A design activist and ethnographer of social imagination.