Music rightsholders have been very clear about their desire for musical-AI developers to seek licences if they’re training their systems on commercial music.

With that in mind, our industry should keep a close eye on what’s happening in other media and entertainment sectors.

Today’s story in the Financial Times, for example, about OpenAI, Google, Microsoft and Adobe holding talks with various news organisations about potential licensing deals. News Corp, Axel Springer, the New York Times and The Guardian are cited in the latter group, as well as the Financial Times itself.

“The deals could involve media organisations being paid a subscription-style fee for their content in order to develop the technology underpinning chatbots such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard,” reported the FT.

Axel Springer CEO Mathias Döpfner is quoted in the article as suggesting a licensing model “similar to one developed by the music industry that sees radio stations, nightclubs and streaming services pay record labels each time a track is played”.

So, the news organisations are taking inspiration from the music industry, but any deals they strike with the AI firms could in turn influence the agreements our industry seeks with generative AI companies.

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