AI and Copyright: Human Artistry Campaign Launches to Support Songwriters and Musicians’ Rights
The fast rise of AI technology has opened up a world of brain-busting questions about copyright and creators’ rights — for example, if David Guetta drops a song with a ChatGPT-generated verse from a fake Eminem, who gets paid? — and it’s safe to say them music industry is alarmed by this universe of new challenges.
A new coalition to meet those challenges called the Human Artistry Campaign was announced at the South by Southwest conference on Thursday, with support from more than 40 organizations, including the Recording Academy, the National Music Publishers Association, the Recording Industry of America and many others.
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With a stated goal “to ensure artificial intelligence technologies are developed and used in ways that support human culture and artistry – and not ways that replace or erode it,” the organization outlined principles advocating AI best practices, “emphasizing respect for artists, their work, and their personas; transparency; and adherence to existing law including copyright and intellectual property,” which are outlined in full below. The campaign urges supporters to sign a petition to advance those principles.
Members include: American Association of Independent Music, American Federation of Musicians, Americana Music Association, American Photographic Artists, Artist Rights Alliance, Artist Rights Watch, ASCAP, Association of American Publishers, Black Music Action Coalition, Christian Music Trade Association, Church Music Publishers Association, Concept Art Association, Department of Professional Employees, AFL-CIO, European Composer and Songwriter Alliance, Future of Music Coalition, Georgia Music Partners, Global Music Rights, Gospel Music Association, Graphic Artists Guild, IFPI, International Federation of Actors, #IRespectMusic, Living Legends Foundation, MLB Players’ Association, Music Artists Coalition, Music Tech Policy, Music Workers Alliance, National Music Publishers’ Association, News Media Alliance, NFL Players Association, NHL Players’ Association, Professional Photographers of America, Recording Academy, Recording Industry Association of America, Rhythm & Blues Foundation, SAG-AFTRA, SESAC, Songwriters of North America, SoundExchange and The Trichordist.
Core Principles for Artificial Intelligence Applications in Support of Human Creativity and Accomplishments
1. Technology has long empowered human expression, and AI will be no different.
For generations, various technologies have been used successfully to support human creativity. Take music, for example… From piano rolls to amplification to guitar pedals to synthesizers to drum machines to digital audio workstations, beat libraries and stems and beyond, musical creators have long used technology to express their visions through different voices, instruments, and devices. AI already is and will increasingly play that role as a tool to assist the creative process, allowing for a wider range of people to express themselves creatively.
Moreover, AI has many valuable uses outside of the creative process itself, including those that amplify fan connections, hone personalized recommendations, identify content quickly and accurately, assist with scheduling, automate and enhance efficient payment systems – and more. We embrace these technological advances.
2. Human-created works will continue to play an essential role in our lives.
Creative works shape our identity, values, and worldview. People relate most deeply to works that embody the lived experience, perceptions, and attitudes of others. Only humans can create and fully realize works written, recorded, created, or performed with such specific meaning. Art cannot exist independent of human culture.
3. Use of copyrighted works, and use of the voices and likenesses of professional performers, requires authorization, licensing, and compliance with all relevant state and federal laws.
We fully recognize the immense potential of AI to push the boundaries for knowledge and scientific progress. However, as with predecessor technologies, the use of copyrighted works requires permission from the copyright owner. AI must be subject to free-market licensing for the use of works in the development and training of AI models. Creators and copyright owners must retain exclusive control over determining how their content is used. AI developers must ensure any content used for training purposes is approved and licensed from the copyright owner, including content previously used by any pre-trained AIs they may adopt. Additionally, performers’ and athletes’ voices and likenesses must only be used with their consent and fair market compensation for specific uses.
4. Governments should not create new copyright or other IP exemptions that allow AI developers to exploit creators without permission or compensation.
AI must not receive exemptions from copyright law or other intellectual property laws and must comply with core principles of fair market competition and compensation. Creating special shortcuts or legal loopholes for AI would harm creative livelihoods, damage creators’ brands, and limit incentives to create and invest in new works.
5. Copyright should only protect the unique value of human intellectual creativity.
Copyright protection exists to help incentivize and reward human creativity, skill, labor, and judgment -not output solely created and generated by machines. Human creators, whether they use traditional tools or express their creativity using computers, are the foundation of the creative industries and we must ensure that human creators are paid for their work.
6. Trustworthiness and transparency are essential to the success of AI and protection of creators.
Complete recordkeeping of copyrighted works, performances, and likenesses, including the way in which they were used to develop and train any AI system, is essential. Algorithmic transparency and clear identification of a work’s provenance are foundational to AI trustworthiness. Stakeholders should work collaboratively to develop standards for technologies that identify the input used to create AI-generated output. In addition to obtaining appropriate licenses, content generated solely by AI should be labeled describing all inputs and methodology used to create it — informing consumer choices, and protecting creators and rightsholders.
7. Creators’ interests must be represented in policymaking.
Policymakers must consider the interests of human creators when crafting policy around AI. Creators live on the forefront of, and are building and inspiring, evolutions in technology and as such need a seat at the table in any conversations regarding legislation, regulation, or government priorities regarding AI that would impact their creativity and the way it affects their industry and livelihood.
In the announcement, Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. said, “There is so much potential with AI. But it also presents risks to our creative community. It’s crucial that we get this right early on so we don’t risk losing the artistic magic that only humans can create.”
NMPA President & CEO David Israelite added, “Incredible music originates from individuals. As we face growing AI capabilities, we as an industry are united around the fact that human artistry must be protected by strong copyright law and policy and that AI tools are developed in ways that do not undermine the value of songwriters’ work.”
RIAA Chairman and CEO Mitch Glazier noted, “Human artistry is irreplicable. Recent developments in AI are remarkable, but we have seen the costs before of rushing heedlessly forward without real thought or respect for law and rights. Our principles are designed to chart a healthy path for AI innovation that enhances and rewards human artistry, creativity, and performance.”
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