UK Music chief executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin has welcomed the Intellectual Property minister’s announcement that he plans to scrap the introduction of the government’s broad copyright exception for text and data mining purposes.
The government set out proposals last summer to amend copyright law that would enable developers of artificial intelligence to exploit copyright protected works without the permission of creators and rights-holders.
The new copyright exception prompted a huge backlash from the UK music industry, which likened the plans to “music laundering” and warned of a “catastrophic” impact on the sector.
Maintaining a robust copyright framework is central to the music industry’s case for government support of the sector.
After months of campaigning from UK Music to scrap the data mining proposal, during a debate in the House of Commons (February 1) the Intellectual Property Minister George Freeman said he and the DCMS Minister Julia Lopez felt that the proposals were not correct and that they would “not be proceeding with these.”
He told MPs: “We are looking to stop them and to return to office to have a rather deeper conversation with the APPG [All-Party Parliamentary Group] who I met yesterday, with experts in both Houses and with the industry.”
The whole music industry has been united in its opposition to these proposals, which would have paved the way for music laundering
Freeman also said that he was aware that a balance needed to be struck on the issue.
“AI is coming at us as a transformational technology at a pace that in government we haven’t had to deal with before,” he said.
“We try and anticipate the challenges that are coming, and get a regulatory framework in the UK that can keep pace with the technology and the issues that it raises,” Freeman added.
Commenting on the announcement, Jamie Njoku-Goodwin said: “UK Music warmly welcomes the minister’s decision to scrap plans for a catastrophic blanket copyright exception.
“The whole music industry has been united in its opposition to these proposals, which would have paved the way for music laundering and opened up our brilliant creators and rights holders to gross exploitation.
“We are delighted to see the back of a policy that risked irreparable damage to the global success story that is the UK music industry.”
He added: “We now look forward to working with the government to ensure any future plans are evidence-based and allow artificial intelligence and our world-leading creative industries to grow in tandem.”