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MPs Demand New Law To Stop AI Firms Deceiving Music Fans As Exclusive Poll Reveals Huge Public Support For Action  

An influential cross-party group of MPs and Peers has published a new report that calls for fresh legislation to support the UK music industry and music fans by regulating artificial intelligence. 

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01.05.2024: An influential cross-party group of MPs and Peers published a new report today that calls for fresh legislation to support the UK music industry and music fans by regulating artificial intelligence.  

  • MPs want new legislation to ensure the public are not duped by deepfakes or unknowingly listening to AI-generated music.  
  • A new report today urges policymakers to protect music creators from “theft” of their work and fans from being “ripped off” by tech giants. 
  • Clampdown call comes as new poll reveals 83% of public want action on deepfakes of artists like Dua Lipa and Taylor Swift. 
  • Government urged to set up new international taskforce on AI.  

The report from the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Music comes amid mounting concerns about the impact of AI-generated music on the music industry. 

Those fears are reflected in an exclusive UK Music poll of more than 2,000 people who were asked for their views on issues ranging from the use of creators’ work by AI firms to deepfake images of artists like Dua Lipa and Taylor Swift. 

The key findings of the poll conducted by Whitestone Insight for UK Music are: 

  • An overwhelming four out of five people (83%) agree that if AI has been used to generate a song it must be clearly labelled.  
  • 77% agree AI-generated music that fails to acknowledge the creator of the original music amounts to theft.  
  • Four out of five people (80%) agree the law should stop an artist’s music being used to train an AI application without their knowledge or permission.  
  • 83% of UK adults agree that a music artist’s creative “personality” should be protected in law against being copied using AI, effectively protecting creators and consumers from the rise of deepfakes. 

The public support for action to control the impact of AI on music creators is mirrored in the report from the APPG – which is one of the largest APPG’s in Westminster, with more than 100 MPs and Peers making up its membership. 

Chaired by musician and senior Labour MP Kevin Brennan, the cross-party group launched an inquiry in January 2024 and held several evidence sessions before compiling a report: Artificial Intelligence and the Music Industry – Master or Servant?  

The sessions brought together senior representatives from across the UK, EU, and US to answer questions from the APPG on the biggest opportunities and threats from AI to the music industry, including musicians, songwriters, producers and artists. 

Individuals and organisations from across the music industry, creative industries and legal sector submitted written evidence to the inquiry. 

The APPG on Music inquiry comes at a critical point for the music industry as it faces continued uncertainty around the status of AI-generated works. Progress from the UK Government stalled in 2023 as plans for a cross-industry code of conduct on AI failed to progress. 

 The APPG on Music report makes eight key recommendations to the Government to help manage the threat of AI to the music industry, including:

  • The Government should introduce an ambitious UK AI Act, which upholds our world-beating creating industries and shows the UK can lead the way on harnessing new technology.  
  • The Government should ensure all AI-generated copy is clearly labelled, so music fans can fairly decide if they want to consume AI-generated content. 
  • The Government should introduce a specific personality right to protect creators and artists from deepfakes, misappropriation and false endorsement. 
  • The UK Government should take the lead role in the creation of a pro-creative industries international taskforce on AI. 

 All-Party Parliamentary Group on Music Chair Kevin Brennan MP said: 

“AI is having a profound impact on our musical landscape. The UK must grasp the transformative potential of AI in shaping the future of music if it is to retain its role as a powerhouse in exporting music and nurturing world-class talent. 

“We must also confront the danger that unfettered developments in AI could pose to the UK’s musicians and music businesses. We ignore the necessity to sow policies, which will harvest the benefits of AI, and help stave off the threats it poses, at our peril. Our central insight must always be that AI can be a great servant but would be a terrible master.  

 “By leveraging the collective strength of policymakers, industry leaders, and innovators we can ensure that AI serves as a catalyst for creativity, and progress in the music ecosystem, rather than an inhibitor of growth and a destroyer of creators’ livelihoods.” 

Rachel Lyske,CEO of AI-composer tool DAACI, who gave evidence to the inquiry, said: 

“The UK is a world leader and exporter of quality music, recording innovation and world class artists. There is a window of opportunity for the UK to also be the world leader and exporter of generative AI. These two things do not have to be separate.  

 “The UK government must and can give the homegrown UK music and the UK music technology industry a chance to get it right. We can provide a high quality, fair, human-led AI system that protects human artistry and acknowledges every part of the value chain if we demand that approach together.   

“Music isn’t just a file to download. It’s a whole industry. It’s teachers, musicians, studio engineers, artists, producers and performers, home grown creators and major music technology companies, festivals, venues, fans. Music is all of us. Protect this economy and allow it to thrive.” 

UK Music Interim Chief Executive Tom Kiehl said: 

“We need the Government to act now before AI tech companies destroy our world-beating industry. 

“UK Music is delighted to have supported work on this inquiry as secretariat to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Music and welcome this report, which sets out clear recommendations for Government on how to stop music fans being ripped off and how to protect music creators from the theft of their work. 

“The polling UK Music has commissioned reveals the overwhelming view of the public that AI firms that take music without permission and payment to creators are guilty of theft.” 

“The public also voiced their concerns about the alarming growth of explicit deepfake images of music stars like Dua Lipa and the need for urgent action in this area. 

“The threat to the music industry from generative AI is now very real and the Government must move to legislate to support our world-leading music industry.” 

The polling on AI was commissioned by UK Music, which provides the secretariat for the APPG on Music, and conducted by Whitestone Insight.   

Whitestone Insight surveyed 2,110 adults in the UK online between March 20-21, 2024, with the data weighted to be representative of all UK adults. Whitestone Insight is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.   

The full results from Whitestone Insight’s polling can be seen here: UK Music – Whitestone Insight.

You can read the full APPG report here. 

Find out more about the APPG on Music here: All-Party Parliamentary Group On Music (allpartymusicgroup.org.uk)  

APPG AI report: Polling and recommendations summary  

Note: Due to rounding, figures do not always add up to 100%. 

 Headline polling findings: 

  • Over four out of five (83%) of UK adults agree that if AI has been used to generate a song it should be clearly labelled. 83% agree, 5% disagree, 11% don’t know.   
  • 77% of UK adults agree that AI generated music that does not acknowledge the original music’s creators amounts to theft. 77% agree, 6% disagree, 17% don’t know. 
  • Four out of five (80%) of UK adults agree that the law should prevent an artist’s music from being used to train an AI application without their knowledge or permission. 80% agree, 7% disagree, 14% don’t know. 
  • 83% of UK adults agree that a music artist’s creative “personality” should be protected in law against being copied using AI. 83% agree, 5% disagree, 12% don’t know. 

Additional polling: 

  • Over two-thirds (69%) of UK adults are concerned about the risk of AI generation eventually replacing human creativity. 69% concerned, 22% unconcerned, 9% don’t know. 
  • Over half of UK adults (55%) are concerned about listening to AI generated music without realising it. 55% concerned, 32% not concerned, 13% don’t know. 
  • In the UK, 62% of people are concerned about the rise of so-called deep fakes of their favourite music artists. 62% concerned, 24% unconcerned, 14% don’t know. 
  • Over two-thirds (68%) of UK adults are concerned about music artists losing out financially by having their work used by AI to generate new music. 68% concerned, 21% unconcerned, 11% don’t know. 

The All-Party Group on Music report eight recommendations:  

Recommendation one: The Government should create a pro-creative industries AI Bill. As well as protecting copyright, the Bill should introduce new rights and obligations around labelling and record keeping, as well as enhancing personality rights. It should act as a vehicle to implement many of the recommendations of the APPG on Music’s Artificial Intelligence and the Music Industry – Master or Servant? report and show the UK can lead the way on harnessing new technology. 

Recommendation two: Transparent labelling enables informed decision-making for consumers. The Government should ratify labelling requirements for AI-generated content under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. 

Recommendation three: The Government should introduce a standalone obligation for AI developers and those using large language models (LLMs) to comply with record-keeping requirements for all data sets used for ingestion, not solely limited to personal data.  

Recommendation four: The Government should promote compliance with UK copyright law, requiring stakeholders to obtain express permission before using copyrighted material, and educating music creators and rightsholders on their rights. 

Recommendation five: The Government should address the copyright status of AI-generated works and provide clarity, making it clear that without human creativity copyright is not afforded as a right. 

Recommendation six: The Government should introduce a specific personality right to protect creators and artists from misappropriation and false endorsement. Such a right should protect their voice, image, name, and likeness (VINL). 

Recommendation seven: As a condition of market access, the Government should require large language models (LLMs) to comply with UK copyright provisions, even if the services or goods they have developed are created in compliance with the laws outside the UK. This could also be achieved by clarifying that when an individual or organisation create goods or services internationally that breach copyright law in the UK, UK law would apply. 

Recommendation eight: The UK Government should take the lead role in the creation of an international taskforce on AI, taking forward this dialogue across borders, ensuring best practice is shared and putting copyright and the creative industries at the heart of any future global AI summit. 

Read APPG on Music Chair Kevin Brennan MP’s opinion piece for Politics Home here.

The report received widespread media coverage including in:

BBC News

The Independent

City AM

Mail Online

Music Week

Billboard

Music Ally

NME

Record of the Day

Complete Music Update

Music Business Worldwide

DJ Magazine

Daily Star

STV

The National (Scotland)

Irish News

Music News

+ widespread regional media.

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