UK bodies protest against unlicensed AI data-mining of music


There’s a new row brewing in the British music industry, but refreshingly, all the industry bodies are on the same side of it.

Umbrella body UK Music has sent a letter to the UK’s Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries criticising proposals that it claims “would give the green light to music laundering”.

How so? This is all about a government consultation on ‘Artificial Intelligence and Intellectual Property’ which UK Music says will “allow third parties to use creative works, including music, for data mining purposes, without the need for creators and rightsholders to provide permission”.

All of UK Music’s members – that’s AIM, BPI, FAC, The Ivors Academy, MMF, MPA, MPG, MU, PPL, and PRS for Music – are supporting the letter. For some context to this, read our interview with Reed Smith’s Sophie Goossens about the legal issues around training AIs: it’s from 2019, but is still current. Rules on whether licences are required vary across the world.

With the British government collapsing one resignation at a time as we write this story, all of its plans are up in the air. But when the dust settles, whoever’s in charge, UK Music will clearly be ready to continue pressing on these issues.

Written by: Stuart Dredge