All-Party Parliamentary Group on Music calls for legislation regulating AI

All-Party Parliamentary Group on Music calls for legislation regulating AI

An influential cross-party group of MPs and peers has published a new report that calls for legislation to support the UK music industry and fans by regulating artificial intelligence.  

The report from the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Music comes amid mounting concerns about the impact of AI-generated music.

A UK Music poll of more than 2,000 people who were asked for their views on issues ranging from the use of creators’ work by AI firms to deepfake images of artists. 

The key findings of the poll conducted by Whitestone Insight for UK Music are: 

• Four out of five people (83%) agree that if AI has been used to generate a song it must be clearly labelled.

• 77% agree AI-generated music that fails to acknowledge the creator of the original music amounts to theft.

• Four out of five people (80%) agree the law should stop an artist’s music being used to train an AI application without their knowledge or permission. 

• 83% of UK adults agree that a music artist’s creative “personality” should be protected in law against being copied using AI, effectively protecting creators and consumers from the rise of deepfakes. 

The public support for action to control the impact of AI on music creators is mirrored in the report from the APPG, which has more than 100 MPs and Peers making up its membership. 

Chaired by musician and senior Labour MP Kevin Brennan, the cross-party group launched an inquiry in January 2024 and held several evidence sessions before compiling the report: Artificial Intelligence and the Music Industry – Master or Servant?  

The sessions brought together senior representatives from across the UK, EU and US to answer questions from the APPG on the biggest opportunities and threats from AI to the music industry, including musicians, songwriters, producers and artists. 

Individuals and organisations from across the music industry, creative industries and legal sector submitted written evidence to the inquiry. 

Our central insight must always be that AI can be a great servant but would be a terrible master

Kevin Brennan

Progress from the UK government stalled in 2023 as plans for a cross-industry code of conduct on AI failed to progress. 

The APPG on Music report makes eight key recommendations to the government to help manage the threat of AI to the music industry, including: 

• The government should introduce an ambitious UK AI Act, which upholds our world-beating creating industries and shows the UK can lead the way on harnessing new technology. 

• The government should ensure all AI-generated copy is clearly labelled, so music fans can fairly decide if they want to consume AI-generated content. 

• The government should introduce a specific personality right to protect creators and artists from deepfakes, misappropriation and false endorsement. 

• The UK government should take the lead role in the creation of a pro-creative industries international taskforce on AI. 

Kevin Brennan MP said: "AI is having a profound impact on our musical landscape. The UK must grasp the transformative potential of AI in shaping the future of music if it is to retain its role as a powerhouse in exporting music and nurturing world-class talent. 

“We must also confront the danger that unfettered developments in AI could pose to the UK’s musicians and music businesses. We ignore the necessity to sow policies, which will harvest the benefits of AI, and help stave off the threats it poses, at our peril. Our central insight must always be that AI can be a great servant but would be a terrible master.  

“By leveraging the collective strength of policymakers, industry leaders, and innovators we can ensure that AI serves as a catalyst for creativity, and progress in the music ecosystem, rather than an inhibitor of growth and a destroyer of creators’ livelihoods.” 

Rachel Lyske, CEO of AI-composer tool DAACI, who gave evidence to the inquiry, said: “The UK is a world leader and exporter of quality music, recording innovation and world class artists. There is a window of opportunity for the UK to also be the world leader and exporter of generative AI. These two things do not have to be separate. 

"The UK government must and can give the homegrown UK music and the UK music technology industry a chance to get it right. We can provide a high quality, fair, human-led AI system that protects human artistry and acknowledges every part of the value chain if we demand that approach together. 

“Music isn’t just a file to download. It’s a whole industry. It’s teachers, musicians, studio engineers, artists, producers and performers, home grown creators and major music technology companies, festivals, venues, fans. Music is all of us. Protect this economy and allow it to thrive.” 

UK Music interim chief executive Tom Kiehl said: “We need the government to act now before AI tech companies destroy our world-beating industry. 

“UK Music is delighted to have supported work on this inquiry as secretariat to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Music and welcome this report, which sets out clear recommendations for government on how to stop music fans being ripped off and how to protect music creators from the theft of their work. 

“The polling UK Music has commissioned reveals the overwhelming view of the public that AI firms that take music without permission and payment to creators are guilty of theft.” 

He added: “The public also voiced their concerns about the alarming growth of explicit deepfake images of music stars like Dua Lipa and the need for urgent action in this area. 

“The threat to the music industry from generative AI is now very real and the government must move to legislate to support our world-leading music industry.” 

The polling on AI was commissioned by UK Music, which provides the secretariat for the APPG on Music, and conducted by Whitestone Insight.


author twitter FOLLOW Andre Paine

For more stories like this, and to keep up to date with all our market leading news, features and analysis, sign up to receive our daily Morning Briefing newsletter

subscribe link free-trial link

follow us...