IFPI, GESAC, and Others Call for Mandatory Artificial Intelligence Training Disclosures in the EU — ‘AI Innovation and Effective Copyright Protection Are Not Mutually Exclusive’

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Brussels, Belgium. Photo Credit: François Genon

Amid ongoing trilogue negotiations over the EU’s AI Act, music industry organizations including the IFPI, IMPALA, and GESAC are urging lawmakers to assure that the legislation compels artificial intelligence systems to “comply with the existing EU copyright framework.”

The mentioned entities, in addition to the ICMP, the IMPF, and a number of non-music media representatives, jointly called for “meaningful transparency obligations on AI” via a brief release that was emailed to DMN.

This latest push to establish clear-cut copyright protections in the AI Act has arrived as the bill continues to inch closer to passage – and as a growing list of creators are taking legal action against AI developers for allegedly “training” their platforms on protected media without authorization.

“Progress in AI innovation and effective copyright protection are not mutually exclusive,” the signatories spelled out in their message about the AI Act. “On the contrary, AI processes that depend upon the ‘input’ of protected works or other subject matter derive their purpose and value from these works or subject matter.”

Building upon the point, the IFPI and the other aforesaid entities drove home their position that the companies behind AI offerings should be required under the AI Act to “keep detailed records of third party works or other protected subject matter used.”

This information, the organizations continued, should likewise be accessible to rightsholders – in large part so they can “effectively enforce their rights” if protected works are utilized without permission.

“The obligation to keep accurate records should go back to the start of the development to provide a full chain of use,” the media and entertainment reps wrote. “Further, to avoid ‘AI laundering’ it must extend to all systems that are made available in the EU, or that produce output used in the EU, regardless of the jurisdiction in which the training or testing may have taken place.”

Bearing in mind these remarks, the IFPI, the ICMP, the IMPF, GESAC, and IMPALA in closing described as “a first step in the right direction” the European Parliament’s recent proposal to require AI-training recordkeeping.

“We call on the European institutions to support these provisions, and we look forward to working with them to make further improvements to ensure the AI Act is fit for the purpose of protecting the work of European creators and rightsholders,” they concluded.

Of course, artificial intelligence is playing an increasingly significant role with each passing day – particularly in the music space, where unauthorized soundalike tracks (and entire streaming platforms dedicated to AI efforts) are attracting serious attention.

Authorized AI music services are also on the rise (Mubert said this month that its catalog had topped 100 million songs), and companies including but not limited to TikTok parent ByteDance have rolled out AI-powered music generators as of late.

It’s against this backdrop that the major labels are exploring streaming-compensation reform in earnest and entreating U.S. lawmakers to enact stricter AI protections.

Moreover, July has seen Epidemic Sound debut “an AI-powered music discovery tool” called Soundmatch and K-pop artist Mark Tuan launch an AI “digital twin” that can interact with fans. Meanwhile, Aimi is now using artificial intelligence to generate trap music, whereas BMG-partnered MatchTune has created a self-described “natural language search engine for music,” Audioatlas.