15.01.2024: UK Music’s Policy and Campaigns Officer Dougie Brown examines the impact on the music industry of the rapid development of AI as UK Music calls on policymakers to do ensure that this new technology grows in a way to support the creative industries.
The accelerating development and adoption of artificial intelligence tools brings opportunities and challenges for the music sector. We are a highly innovative industry that readily embraces emerging technologies. As an assistive tool, songwriters, producers, and artists use AI to aid the creative process and provide analytics on fan engagement and audience behaviour. Moreover, at an industry level, music publishers and record companies are using AI to detect copyright infringement and predict consumer trends.
However, we must ensure that AI continues to enable human creativity rather than erode it. Many generative AI systems are being developed without regard to the rights of others and without the consent of the original music makers or rightsholders. Protections provided by IP law are a crucial incentive for human artistry, so policymakers must protect creators’ and rightsholders’ freedoms to choose how their works are used.
In addition, AI’s implications transcend national boundaries, and the UK should therefore
work to ensure international cooperation. Such action will allow the UK’s AI and music industries
to thrive in tandem.
The next Government should:
- Ensure AI-generated music is identifiable, either through labelling or within the metadata, to distinguish it from human created works. Labelling AI generated products as such allows human creators to be properly recognised for their intellectual contributions and helps protect them from unauthorised exploitation. Labelling also protects consumers from misleading representations of what is or is not AI-generated.
- Commit to respecting creators’ and rightsholders’ choice by ruling out any new copyright exceptions or extensions to existing ones. In early 2023, the Government rowed back on plans to allow AI developers to use copyright protected works without the permission of creators and rightsholders. These failed plans highlight the need for policymakers to engage more effectively with the creative industries on AI-related issues and to ensure damaging copyright exceptions remain off the table.
- Require those using music as part of the AI training process to maintain records of trained and ingested works. Maintaining records of music ingested by AI applications is vital, especially when determining the consent of the original creators and rightsholders. There is currently no legal requirement to disclose the material AI systems are trained on. Requirements for record keeping and disclosure are included in regulatory AI proposals across the world, notably in the EU and China. The UK must avoid being an outlier on
- Introduce personality/image rights into the UK legal framework. AI can mimic human creativity, as evidenced by recent examples of music that unlawfully replicated the voices of Drake and Eminem. This technology can easily be abused for misappropriation or false endorsement, potentially inflicting damage on the reputation of artists, songwriters and rightsholders. The absence of a specific personality right in UK law means there are currently limited protections for creators in this space.
Read UK Music’s Manifesto for Music to find out more about what UK Music is calling for action on ahead of a general election.
Find out more about the five key principles the music industry feel should guide the Government in any proposals for AI legislation here.Back to news