The UK's Music Managers Forum yesterday published a 'Music Manager's Interim Guide To AI', produced with CMU, as the trade group's Manager Summit put the spotlight on challenges and opportunities created for the music industry by AI technologies.
The Summit was followed by the organisation's Annual General Meeting, which saw Ray Black of Craft Management join the MMF board for the first time, with Ellie Giles of Step Music Management, Kerry Harvey-Piper of Red Grape Music, Sumit Bothra of ATC Management and Vicky Dowdall of VDM Music all re-elected.
Commenting on the board election, MMF Chair Paul Craig says: “What Ray has achieved in Scotland with Craft Management is astonishing, as is his enormous contribution to Scottish music. We’re absolutely delighted that his knowledge and expertise will now be heard at the MMF board table, and also that we’ll retain such influential figures as Ellie, Kerry, Sumit and Vicky".
The 'Music Manager's Interim Guide To AI' is part of the MMF's 'Dissecting The Digital Dollar' series, produced by CMU. It looks at how artists and managers are making use of AI in their businesses today, and also summarises the debates around the training of music-making generative AI models, and what kind of consent and licences AI companies need in order to make use of existing music in the training process.
The music industry at large mainly agrees that any company using existing music to train an AI model needs to first get a licence from the people or companies that own the copyrights in that music. However, it is not yet clear whether those labels and publishers who own the copyright in the music they release or publish will seek music-maker consent before entering into any licensing deals with AI companies.
The music-maker community believes that such consent should be sought, and last week the Council Of Music Makers - of which MMF is a member - made available a template letter that artists and songwriters in existing label and publishing deals can send to their business partners to confirm that no such consent should be assumed. That template is also included in the new MMF guide.
Says MMF CEO Annabella Coldrick: “It felt incredibly timely to precede the MMF’s AGM with a day of debate and discussion focussed on the implications of AI on the livelihoods of artists, songwriters, producers and other creative talent. Within all the conversations surrounding these exciting technologies, we feel too little time has been spent on the dynamics between music makers and their partners in the recording and publishing sectors".
"As with other parts of 'Dissecting The Digital Dollar'”, she adds, “we hope this new guide and the CMM letter will help managers navigate some of those conversations and ensure they are asking the relevant questions of all the companies they work with".