30.08.2023: UK Music Chief Executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin today welcomed a report from an influential group of MPs who urged the Government to abandon plans to allow artificial intelligence (AI) developers ‘free use of existing music’.
In its second report on connected technology, the Culture, Media and Sport Committee warned the Government’s original plan to exempt text and data mining by AI from copyright protection risked reducing arts and cultural production to mere ‘inputs’ in AI development and showed a clear lack of understanding of the needs of the UK’s creative industries.
The cross-party group of MPs urged the Government to follow through on its pledge and abandon plans to allow AI developers the free use of existing music, literature and works of art for the purposes of AI to come up with new creations.
The report highlighted creative industry fears about allowing the developers of AI to mine private intellectual property for profit without sharing the proceeds with the original creators.
It highlighted UK Music Chief Executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin’s comments when he described the exemption, proposed by the IPO in June last year, as a ‘green light to music laundering’.
Jamie welcomed the findings of the Committee, chaired by Dame Caroline Dinenage, and said: “It’s vital that we ensure AI enables human artistry and creativity, and does not erode it. So, strong copyright and IP protections must at the heart of any approach to seize the opportunities of AI.”
In their report, MPs welcomed signs Ministers are looking again at the exemption proposals and argued that the current framework, which provides an exemption for text and data mining for non-commercial research purposes and otherwise allows creators to licence their work for any further purpose, provided an appropriate balance between innovation and creator rights.
Dame Caroline Dinenage said: “The chorus of warnings from musicians, authors and artists about the real and lasting harm a failure to protect intellectual property in a world where the influence of AI is growing should be enough for Ministers to sit up and take notice.
“The Government must now start to rebuild trust by showing it really understands where the creative industries are coming from and develop a copyright and regulatory regime that properly protects them as AI continues to disrupt traditional cultural production.
“The development and use of creative technology is currently being hampered by a shortage in technical skills. For the UK to fulfil its potential as a world leader in the creative industries, the Government must commit to ensuring the right skills are being taught to ensure a pathway for the next generation of digital artists, visual effects professionals and innovators.”
The report can be read here.
A letter sent to Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer from Jamie that outlines UK Music and its members’ position on AI can be read here.
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