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Issues Around Artificial Intelligence and the Music Industry Discussed on Channel 4 News

The Chief Executive of UK Music – of which the MU is a founding member – Jamie Njoku-Goodwin spoke to Matt Frei at Channel 4 News about the impact of AI on the music industry.

Published: 23 May 2023 | 11:30 AM Updated: 18 July 2023 | 1:47 PM
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"It’s critical that when AIs are generating works of music or creative content as a whole, it is recognising the copyright." Photo credit: Shutterstock

During the 12 minute discussion on Channel 4 News, Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, Chief Executive of UK Music, addressed the important distinction between the generation and creation of music, and how important it is to continue to recognise the copyright of original creators.

Jamie said: “Many artists across the music industry use AI in an assistive way. I think the challenge is around generative AI. It’s really important to remember that AI cannot create, it can generate.

“And, in order to generate music, it needs to take a whole load of content, look at patterns and then generate allegedly new (music). But it’s not new – it’s based on original content that it’s ingested.

“So it’s critical that when AIs are generating works of music or creative content as a whole, it is recognising the copyright. It’s (about) having the permission to use that content in order to generate that work.”

Artificial Intelligence raises concerns across the music industry

The MU’s Assistant General Secretary Phil Kear appeared on BBC Newsnight in January of this year to discuss similar concerns connected to the rise of chatbots such as Chat GPT.

Phil also discussed how music generated by AI would still need to recognise and remunerate original creators, and also how audiences were likely to be affected by the loss of the human side of music.

Government consulting on the deregulation of copyright

In an article written as a follow-up to his BBC Newsnight appearance, Phil discussed in more detail how Text and Data Mining (TDM) works, and how Government proposals to deregulate copyright around TDM could mean that AI could be used to generate music for commercial purposes potentially without any remuneration or attribution to the original creators.

Since the publication of Phil's article, the Government have scrapped their proposals for a TDM copyright exception, however this does not remove the need for work around the protection of music creators as AI continues to advance.

Phil went on to outline measures that could be put in place to guard against AI potential effects on the music industry:

“So what we need now is protection for compositions and recordings from the proposed exception, or a rigorous licensing regime which requires a full audit trail of any copyright material used in the training of AIs, and an appropriate remuneration scheme which rewards creators and rights holders for the use of their material in any new creations.”

You can read Phil’s full opinion piece here.

UK Music has signed up to the Human Artistry Campaign, which sets out key principles on the responsible use of AI to support human creativity. You can read more about that here.

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