Author and Performance Rights Alliances Launch Global AI Lobbying Campaign

As labor disputes in Hollywood over the use of generative AI technology has brought film and TV production to a halt, groups representing collective rights management organizations for authors, composers and performers are looking to bring their case to halls of governments around the world. On Thursday (July 20) a group of 10 organizations including CISAC, ECSA and SCAPR, released an open letter spelling out seven principles they are asking policymakers to commit to as they adopt policies and legislation regarding AI.

“With the proliferation of Artificial Intelligence (AI), artists, creators and performers must be respected, human creativity protected, copyright principles remain robust and fair licensing practices developed and implemented,” the letter reads. “At the same time, global solutions should be adopted to ensure AI companies remunerate artists, performers and human creators whose works are exploited.”

The seven principles closely track the “core principles for artificial intelligence applications” announced in March by the Human Artistry Campaign, which involved several of the same organizations. According to Thursday’s announcement, however, the latest missive is specifically targeted at government policy makers and is intended to form “the basis for our lobbying and policy work on this important topic.”

Thursday’s letter also comes one day after a group of European industry bodies representing music rights organizations, film and television producers, news media, scientific and technical publishers, and photo agencies released a joint statement laying out their position on the European Union’s AI Act as the “trilogue” negotiations among the EU Parliament, Commission and Council begin ahead of the law’s final enactment.

The principles include:

1. Creators’ and performers’ rights must be upheld and protected when exploited by AI systems
AI systems analyse, scrape and exploit vast amounts of data, typically without authorization.

These datasets consist of musical, literary, visual and audiovisual works and performances protected by copyright. Those copyright works and datasets have a value, and creators and performers should be in a position to authorize or prohibit the exploitation of their works and performances and be compensated for such uses.

2. Licensing should be enabled and supported

Licensing solutions should be available for all potential exploitation of copyright works, performances and data by AI systems. This would encourage open exchanges between innovators who require the data, and creators and performers who wish to understand how and to what extent their works will be used.

3. Exceptions for Text and Data Mining which do not provide for effective opt-out by rightsholders should be avoided

The introduction of exceptions, including for text and data mining (TDM), that permit AI systems to exploit copyright works and performances without authorization or remuneration must be avoided. Some existing exceptions should be clarified, in order to provide legal certainty for creators of the underlying data and performers, as well as for AI systems wishing to benefit from such data.

4. Credit should be given

Creators and performers must be entitled to obtain recognition and credit when their works and performances have been exploited by AI systems.

5. Transparency obligations should apply to ensure fairer AI practices

Legal obligations relating to disclosure of information should apply. These should cover (i) disclosure of
information on the use of creative works and performances by AI systems, in a sufficient manner to allow traceability and licensing (ii) identification of works and performances generated by AI systems, as such. This will ensure a fair approach towards creators, performers and consumers of creative content.

6. Legal responsibility for AI operators

There should be legal requirements for AI companies to keep relevant records. There should also be effective accountability for AI operators for activities and outputs that infringe the rights of creators, performers and rightsholders.

7. AI is only an instrument in the service of human creativity, and international legal understandings should reinforce this

AI models should be considered as simply an instrument at the service of human creativity. While there is a spectrum of possible levels of interactions between humans and AI to consider when defining the protectability of works and performances, policymakers should make clear that fully autonomous AI-
generated works cannot benefit from the same level of protection as human-created works. This topic should be an urgent priority and global discussions should be initiated rapidly.

In addition to CISAC, ECSA and SCAPR, the signatories to the letter include: AEPO-ARTIS, ALCAM, APMA, CIAGP, CIAM, IMPF, MCNA and the African Music Academy.

Get the latest RightsTech news and analysis delivered directly in your inbox every week
We respect your privacy.