This past spring, our own Jack Kugell spoke on behalf of Songwriters at the US Copyright Office’s Music and Sound Recordings Listening Session on the use of artificial intelligence in music. We appreciate the USCO beginning what will be an ongoing process to ensure that songwriters are protected as the swift changes of AI sweep into creative fields.
Watch the full replay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VN6Lil39_qA
Find out more on USCO AI: https://www.copyright.gov/ai/
TRANSCRIPT OF JACK’S INTRO
Hey, everybody. I’m Jack Kugell. I’m a Grammy and Emmy-nominated songwriter and producer and a co-founding board member of Songwriters of North America, where I co-chair the advocacy committee. Songwriters of North America is a non-profit membership organization founded in 2015
by a group of songwriters, composers, and music industry professionals determined to advocate for ourselves in an increasingly challenging digital economy. SONA has since evolved into a trade association and hub for thousands of engaged working music creators representing the boots on the ground songwriters and composers who call making music their job. I’m honored to be a part of today’s panel representing SONA.
What is most important for the Copyright Office to know about the use of generative AI in the music industry? It is of utmost importance to protect human creators and their rights in the face of developing AI technology. Policymakers must ensure that AI development be done responsibly and in a way that does not threaten the livelihood of human creators, particularly songwriters.
Creators must have a say over whether they want their works to be used for AI training.
Generative AI often illegally takes copyrighted music written by human creators
without permission or compensation. In doing so, it also purposely removes the work’s metadata so it can’t be tracked.
As this technology develops, it could forcibly generate music that competes in the marketplace with the very human-created music ingested in the first place.
Developers will claim that this is a fair use issue. However, fair use was not created to allow the replacement of, nor to compete with, human-created work in the marketplace. We need the Copyright Office and the courts to recognize that our works must be licensed.
Songwriters need to have the choice of whether they want their works to be used by AI companies and the ability and right to say yes or no.
How will we know if AI uses our work? We need to have records kept. We need complete record-keeping of what is in the database as well as tracking specific end-user queries, i.e. retinal song-like prints. Again, this illustrates the need to retain the ingested work’s metadata.
Human creators should be able to use AI as a tool, as we have done with many technological developments in music in the past, and have the assurance that our works will be protected by copyright. Thank you.
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