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MAJOR MUSIC COMPANIES FIGHT BACK AGAINST UNLICENSED AI IN NEW ICMP-LED INITIATIVE

The music publishing industry is raising its voice against tech companies that exploit music for artificial intelligence development without proper consent, credit, or compensation.

An initiative led by the International Confederation of Music Publishers (ICMP), representing 90% of the world’s published music, has launched a new online resource called RightsAndAI.com, where rightsholders can reserve their rights against unlicensed exploitation of their works.

The centralized platform also aims to raise awareness among AI companies about copyright regulation, and seeks to send a clear message to AI firms engaging in “unlicensed exploitation.”

ICMP’s initiative focuses on the importance of ethical and legal AI development. They emphasize that AI companies should obtain proper licenses before using music for AI training. Additionally, they stress the need for AI developers to respect other legal principles like data protection and privacy.

They advocate for a responsible approach, urging tech companies to avoid “cutting corners” at the expense of creators, rightsholders, and consumers. Their central message is clear: “No use without consent, credit & compensation.”

“RightsAndAI.com is a digital resource for music companies worldwide to reaffirm that artificial intelligence must respect real rights. There is no legal, commercial or moral excuse for using the world’s music without respecting copyright,” said ICMP Director General John Phelan.

“As an industry, we remind AI companies – of all sizes, everywhere – to work with us and do all they must to secure a truly legal, secure and innovative AI marketplace.”

Jackie Alway, ICMP Chairwoman and Universal Music’s Executive Vice President for Legal and Industry Affairs, emphasized the importance of protecting creators’ rights, saying, “As music publishers, we work every day to defend the rights of songwriters and composers worldwide. We are doing just that when it comes to ensuring respect of these rights and building a responsible, ethical, legal and innovative AI future.”

“We stand behind RightsAndAI.com as an additional resource to ensure our writers’ music is not used illegally.”

The music industry’s concerns go beyond copyright infringement. The rise of AI-generated music and voice cloning raises concerns about the potential erosion of human creativity and fair compensation for artists and songwriters.

“AS MUSIC PUBLISHERS, WE WORK EVERY DAY TO DEFEND THE RIGHTS OF SONGWRITERS AND COMPOSERS WORLDWIDE. WE ARE DOING JUST THAT WHEN IT COMES TO ENSURING RESPECT OF THESE RIGHTS AND BUILDING A RESPONSIBLE, ETHICAL, LEGAL AND INNOVATIVE AI FUTURE.”

JACKIE ALWAYUNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP

RightsAndAI.com has garnered widespread support from industry giants like Sony Music PublishingUniversal Music Publishing Group, and Warner Chappell Music. Other companies including Concord Music PublishingKobalt Music, Peermusic, Reservoir Media, Round Hill Music, Motus Music and Pelikan Muzik have also joined the initiative.

Available in seven languages, RightsAndAI.com functions on both legal and technical levels. It allows companies to declare reservations against scraping and provides a machine-readable format for uploading information. This combined approach establishes a global “AI guardrail,” ICMP says.

“We embrace innovation and the opportunities that AI brings, yet it is imperative that we ensure the protection of songwriters and their copyrights. By working together, we can chart a healthy path for AI that recognizes the value of human creativity,” said Guy Henderson, ICMP board director and Sony Music Publishing’s President, International.

ICMP is not alone in this fight. Initiatives like the Human Artistry Campaign and Fairlytrained.org are also advocating for a fairer AI future, where responsible practices are upheld. Fairlytrained.org was founded by former Stability AI executive Ed Newton-Rex after he resigned from the AI company last year over concerns about their stance on fair use.

About a week ago, prominent figures such as Billie EilishKaty PerryFinneasPearl JamStevie WonderSmokey Robinson, and the estate of Bob Marley signed an open letter urging AI developers, tech firms, and digital services to refrain from exploiting AI to undermine and diminish the rights of human artists.

Meanwhile, OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, introduced a new voice cloning tool called Voice Engine last month, but decided to postpone its public launch. Stressing potential risks, they highlighted the importance of a “cautious and informed approach” before wider accessibility due to the “potential for synthetic voice misuse.”

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To help the creative minds, including songwriters from all genres of music, professional and amateur, who are committed to protecting the rights and future of the profession of songwriting.

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