Jan 15, 2024 2 min read

The year ahead: Paul Clements, CEO and Ornella Nsio, Chief Policy & Public Affairs Officer of MPA

MPA CEO Paul Clements and Chief Policy & Public Affairs Officer Ornella Nsio look ahead to 2024 in the latest of our series of interviews with the music industry’s trade bodies. They discuss the organisation’s lobbying regarding AI in 2023 and how that work will continue in the year ahead.

The year ahead: Paul Clements, CEO and Ornella Nsio, Chief Policy & Public Affairs Officer of MPA

As we head into 2024, CMU recently sat down with the bosses of many of the music industry’s trade organisations to talk about their work, the key challenges faced by their members, and what to expect in the year ahead. Today the UK’s Music Publishers Association CEO Paul Clements and Chief Policy & Public Affairs Officer Ornella Nsio. MPA also owns the mechanical rights collecting society MCPS. 

Explore the full series of interviews

What was a big win for you and your members in 2023?

The UK government scrapping its proposed copyright exception for text and data mining was hugely important for us and our members. 

The proposal could have led to the exploitation of millions of our music rightsholders’ copyrights without the need to pay fairly for the use of the music, and the MPA is proud of the work we did - in collaboration with other trade associations - to stop that proposal.

Has AI been a key focus for you in the last year? 

Yes, the explosion of AI music platforms and tools has presented a huge challenge for rightsholders.

The MPA has been working to lobby the government and the Intellectual Property Office to make it clear that UK intellectual property law should be respected when any music content is ingested by AI systems, while we have encouraged them to also introduce a sufficient regulatory framework to ensure that both rightsholders’ and consumers’ interests are suitably protected. 

Both permissions being sought to ingest music, and a licence being agreed in advance of any copyright being utilised by large language models, are fundamental points we maintain. 

We have met with ministers and shadow ministers to express our concerns and set out our clear policy related asks. We have also been working with businesses and broadcasters to help them adopt an ethical and responsible approach to the use of AI while championing human-authored works.

What will be key priorities in the year ahead? 

Ensuring that the UK’s world-class creative industries are supported in parallel with AI developments will continue to be a challenge in the next year. 

We have been working with the IPO, other rightsholder bodies and AI platforms in the hope of us agreeing a code of practice for AI developers. However, it remains to be seen whether this can be completed and if AI developers will sign up to the code should it be completed.

On a more positive note, MCPS is excited to be celebrating its centenary in 2024. The industry has gone through various cycles of opportunity and challenge, however, the MCPS board and management team remain as committed as ever to delivering growth and the best level of cost-effective service possible for its members. 

As MCPS moves into its second century we look forward to looking back and celebrating our achievements, while striving forward positively.

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