May 21, 2024 2 min read

WIN publishes key principles for generative AI

The Worldwide Independent Network has published guidance on the use and development of generative AI from the perspective of independent music businesses. They call for the protection of human creators, transparency and the need to seek permission before training AI models on copyrighted content

WIN publishes key principles for generative AI

The Worldwide Independent Network - which speaks for independent music companies across the globe - has published five key principles around the use and development of generative AI. Like other music industry organisations, it puts an emphasis on protecting human creators and pressing the need for permission when training AI models on copyrighted content.

“The global independent music community welcomes new technological developments which respect the value of music and creators' rights”, says WIN CEO Noemí Planas. “These principles for generative AI are the result of extensive consultation with independents around the world and align with our recently published Global Independent Values”.

“With these principles provided as a compass, we look forward to collaborating with responsible AI developers and inspiring policymakers around the world”, she concludes. 

The five AI principles are:

  • AI development is subject to copyright.
  • Prioritising a human-centred approach.
  • Safety of creators, fans, consumers and the public.
  • Transparency as a fundamental element.
  • Ethical AI development hand-in-hand with music.

The principles have been written in consultation with trade bodies representing independent music companies from all over the world. 

In the UK that includes the Association Of Independent Music, whose interim CEO Gee Davy says, “The global independent music community believes in leadership through knowledge-sharing and inclusive discussion. These principles have been created in that light, to provide the basis for meaningful collaboration. and create a successful and creative future for AI in music, to the benefit of all participants”.

A number of industry organisations have previously published their own AI principles, as use of the technology has grown. Particularly as the industry has gone head to head with those AI companies that insist they do not need permission to train AI models on copyrighted content. 

Last year, UK Music published its own list of five principles, which also highlighted the need to protect human creativity and for transparency. It also called for the labelling of music generated by AI and the introduction of a new personality right in the UK. The Council Of Music Makers then published five AI fundamentals too, echoing the demands of UK Music, but also calling on record labels and music publishers to seek creator consent before undertaking any music AI projects. 

Globally, the Human Artistry Campaign launched a manifesto at SXSW in March 2023. And then in July last year a group of organisations representing songwriters, performers and their collecting societies issued seven principles, which covered similar ground to the Human Artistry Campaign, but also went into more detail in some areas - notably calling for a system to credit human creators when their work is used by AI, and the development of a clearer system for AI companies to licence copyrighted work.

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