UK music makers outline fundamental principles on AI for tech and music industries

UK music makers outline fundamental principles on AI for tech and music industries

The Council Of Music Makers – representing UK songwriters, composers, artists, musicians, producers and music managers – has published five fundamentals that it believes should be fully embraced by technology companies and the music industry as they develop new music AI technologies. 

According to the announcement, these five key objectives will ensure that the training, licensing and commercialisation of music-making generative AI models is achieved in a way that respects the rights of human creators, while enabling the development of tools and platforms that empower music makers and music fans alike. 

They have been developed by CMM's five member organisations - The Ivors Academy, the Featured Artists Coalition, the Musicians' Union, the Music Producers Guild and the Music Managers Forum - and will be officially unveiled at The Ivors Academy Global Creators Summit on music and AI in London today (September 20). 

The Summit brings music creators together to discuss the threats and opportunities that AI brings, and the way it is changing the creation, discovery and consumption of music. Sting, fellow of The Ivors Academy, has previously said that musicians face “a battle” to defend their songs against the rise of AI-generated music. 

The five fundamentals are a response to the challenges and opportunities created by ever more sophisticated generative AI models. 

“The music-maker community is ready to collaborate with technology companies - and their own business partners in the music industry - to capitalise on the opportunities, providing their rights are respected and their creativity is valued. Indeed, music makers have always been at the cusp of technological advances within the industry,” said a statement from the organisation.

The CMM has also produced a template letter that artists and songwriters can tailor and send to any record labels, music distributors and music publishers they work with, confirming that they are keen to hear about any opportunities in music AI, but also making it clear that advance permissions must be sought before any of their music is used to train an AI model. 

Commenting on the five fundamentals and the template letter, the Council Of Music Makers said: "We all recognise that AI presents opportunities for the music business. However, the rights of music-makers – including artists, musicians, songwriters and studio producers – must be respected by technology companies and rights-holders as music AI models are trained and new AI-powered products and services are developed.

"That begins with AI companies respecting copyright and law-makers ensuring that no new copyright exceptions are introduced to reduce those obligations. But in addition to these basic requirements, there are five further fundamentals that must be met and which we are setting out here today.” 

In response to the AI red lines from the Council Of Music Makers, Dr Jo Twist, chief executive BPI, said: “Music and tech innovation have always worked hand in hand. AI is no different and offers exciting opportunities, as well as new challenges that could adversely impact creators and rights-holders if the right balance is not struck.  That is why, with AI developing at pace, record labels are focused on exploring opportunities to harness this technology and enable further innovation, growth, and support for artists, without undermining the strong rights framework that underpins the global success achieved by British music. Safeguarding human artistry and the interests of creators is front and centre in all of this, and the BPI and its members look forward to maintaining open discussions with our colleagues across the music sector as we navigate the dynamic landscape of AI opportunities.” 


1. Where licensing deals are negotiated in respect of AI technologies, the explicit consent of individual music-makers must be secured before music is used to train AI models. Such consent cannot be inferred by rights-holders or technology companies. 

2. The publicity, personality and personal data rights of music-makers must be respected. These rights belong to individual music-makers and cannot be exploited - by AI companies or rights-holders - without explicit consent. The UK government should clarify and strengthen these rights, and collaborate internationally to promote a robust global rights regime. 

3. Where permission is granted, music-makers must share fairly in the financial rewards of music AI, including from music generated by AI models trained on their work. 

4. As AI companies and rights-holders develop licensing models, they must proactively consult music-makers and reach agreement on how each stakeholder will share in the revenue from AI products and services. 

5. AI-generated works must be clearly labelled as such and AI companies must be fully transparent about the music that has been used to train their models, keeping and making available complete records of datasets. Rights-holders must be transparent about all licensing deals that have been negotiated with AI companies and what works those deals include. 


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