Sep 20, 2023 2 min read

"Consent, respect and remuneration" crucial as music AI evolves, say UK music-makers

The UK’s Council Of Music Makers has called on technology companies and the music industry at large to meet five fundamental objectives as they develop music-making generative AI models.

"Consent, respect and remuneration" crucial as music AI evolves, say UK music-makers

Organisations representing UK music-makers have called for "consent, respect and remuneration" to be central to the development of music AI platforms and tools, calling on technology companies and the music industry at large to meet five fundamental objectives.

The five objectives have been published by the Council Of Music Makers, which brings together The Ivors Academy, the Featured Artists Coalition, the Musicians' Union, the Music Producers Guild and the Music Managers Forum. They have been formally unveiled at a Global Creators Summit being staged by the Ivors Academy in London today, where AI is the focus.

Music-making AI has become a big talking point in the music industry**,** of course, as generative AI tools become both more sophisticated and more widely available. The industry is generally adamant that any technology companies training their AI models with existing music must first get consent from whoever owns the copyright in that music.

However, there is a debate over whether artist and songwriter consent is also required - legally and/or ethically - even when they don't own the copyright in their recordings or songs. The Council Of Music Makers insist that such consent should be sought.

The CMM organisations say in a statement: "We all recognise that AI presents opportunities for the music business. However, the rights of music-makers - including artists, musicians, songwriters and studio producers - must be respected by technology companies and rights-holders as music AI models are trained and new AI-powered products and services are developed".

"That begins with AI companies respecting copyright and law-makers ensuring that no new copyright exceptions are introduced to reduce those obligations", they add. "But in addition to these basic requirements, there are five further fundamentals that must be met and which we are setting out here today”.

The five fundamentals are as follows...

  1. Where licensing deals are negotiated in respect of AI technologies, the explicit consent of individual music-makers must be secured before music is used to train AI models. Such consent cannot be inferred by rights-holders or technology companies.
  2. The publicity, personality and personal data rights of music-makers must be respected. These rights belong to individual music-makers and cannot be exploited - by AI companies or rights-holders - without explicit consent. The UK government should clarify and strengthen these rights, and collaborate internationally to promote a robust global rights regime.
  3. Where permission is granted, music-makers must share fairly in the financial rewards of music AI, including from music generated by AI models trained on their work.
  4. As AI companies and rights-holders develop licensing models, they must proactively consult music-makers and reach agreement on how each stakeholder will share in the revenue from AI products and services.
  5. AI-generated works must be clearly labelled as such and AI companies must be fully transparent about the music that has been used to train their models, keeping and making available complete records of datasets. Rights-holders must be transparent about all licensing deals that have been negotiated with AI companies and what works those deals include.

The CMM also recently published a template letter that artists and songwriters can send to any record labels, music distributors and music publishers they currently work with, stressing that - although they are keen to learn about opportunities in the music AI space - they do not currently consent to their music being used to train any generative AI models.

That was circulated by CMM organisations earlier this month and also features in the 'Music Manager's Interim Guide To AI', produced by CMU and published by the Music Managers Forum last week.

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