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AI: How do we ensure a music creator future?

Media Published Wednesday 24 April 2024


Dear friends,

It would be no overstatement to say Artificial Intelligence (AI) is dominating regular conversations we are having with members as well as music industry colleagues internationally. I want to update you on how APRA AMCOS is working to ensure your rights are respected and how we are collaborating closely with music industry partners around the world.

It is important to say at the outset that APRA AMCOS holds significant concerns regarding the risks AI, and specifically Generative AI, presents not just to artists and rights holders with the unauthorised use of your music, but also the audiences who love your music.

AI is widely forecast to be an enormous wealth generator for existing and emerging technology platforms. We will work hard to ensure that music creators have a voice at the policy-setting table, and get to share in the AI wealth dividend.

There is no stopping the proliferation of artificial intelligence platforms. But what we can work together on is ensuring there is: Consent, Credit, Compensation.

Technology + Creativity

We are not so much concerned by the technology itself. Technology empowering human expression is of course nothing new. We know that many of you have been using forms of AI in music creation for many years. We also know that there is likely to be several other useful and important purposes to which artificial intelligence more generally will be applied.

Our concern regarding Generative AI and the Large Language Models (LLMs) like ChatGPT arises from the complete lack of transparency platforms have demonstrated in terms of acknowledging the music, art, books and screen content that has been “scraped”, “mined”, “listened to”, “trained on”, or to use a better word, copied, to create their outputs.

Regulation + Protection

We have been working closely with our counterparts at home and around the world to ensure the voice of songwriters, composers and music publishers is not only heard but helps inform the legislative and regulatory work happening in parliaments around the world.

It is well known that Big Tech organisations and affiliated Big Tech lobby organisations will be pushing for territories to amend Copyright Acts with broad exceptions. This push is being fought by every creator organisation around the world.

Creative Alliances

APRA AMCOS has led policy responses from across the broad creative industries with the establishment of an alliance of 22 creator and creative economy organisations that include representatives from media, screen, music, literature, visual arts and design.

The united position of the alliance is clear: If there is copying or reproduction of works without permission, it is unlawful and certainly unethical. Australia’s copyright laws are clear, simple and fit for purpose for licensing AI development in Australia provided the rights of creators are respected. Regulation must look beyond the short-term hype of generative AI platforms to ensure the sustainability of the artists, creators and rights holders who created the content that has powered and enabled generative AI software.

We are also in close dialogue with creator groups around the world including CISAC, ICMP, CIAM and IFRRO and have been a collaborator on international statements around AI. This includes an Open Letter to policy makers demanding creative rights in AI proliferation.

We want to hear from you

We will provide a regular update on AI in our fortnightly APRAP member newsletter. We will also be reaching out to all of you to get your views on AI and how it will affect your work and practice. Your input will be crucial.

Please be assured that APRA AMCOS is making your voice heard in Canberra and Wellington and dealing directly with the Australian and New Zealand Governments to ensure there is CONSENT, CREDIT and COMPENSATION for our members.