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Is Artificial Intelligence Changing the Rights of Authors?

Summary

With increasingly advanced artificial intelligence models that can generate music, the question arises of how this technology will impact the rights of authors. As technology companies strongly push the development of AI models and their monetization, it is necessary to […]

Is Artificial Intelligence Changing the Rights of Authors?

With increasingly advanced artificial intelligence models that can generate music, the question arises of how this technology will impact the rights of authors. As technology companies strongly push the development of AI models and their monetization, it is necessary to consider the protection and fair financial compensation for original creators.

Today, there are artificial intelligence models that can generate music based on text, and this technology will likely continue to evolve in the future. However, the important question now is how to adequately compensate original authors for the use of their works in AI training? Should authors have the right to refuse the use of their works in this context? Who, if anyone, owns the output generated by artificial intelligence?

Certain artificial intelligence models have better protection under copyright law than others. However, the protection of copyright (melody and lyrics) needs to be urgently addressed. In most cases, unauthorized use of materials for AI training constitutes a copyright infringement unless the user can argue for a specific exception. Such exceptions usually allow for non-commercial use, which may not be the case for a significant number of AI compositions. So, how do we determine the owner?

According to a contemporary interpretation, copyright is the author’s right to prevent their work from being copied or to allow it to be copied. Since the output of an AI model may technically not contain anything from the original protected material, we find ourselves in uncharted territory. As an artist, I believe that the fundamental principle should be freedom of expression. It may be controversial, but I am beginning to think that the creator should be seen as the one who provided the “stimulus,” no matter how simple that stimulus may be, and therefore as the author of the output. Of course, fully generated output by artificial intelligence should not enjoy copyright protection. However, human input should be protected, and in my opinion, most of the time, people will be involved in this process. AI tools in the right hands can result in astonishing new forms of artistic expression, and creators should be given as much freedom as possible. I can almost imagine the technology as an extension of my own mind, allowing me access to a world beyond my own musical experiences. Creators should not be limited by complex rules about how much they employed artificial intelligence or any other creator who inspired them. Instead, I can envision a user inputting a series of stimuli, experimenting with different styles, being inspired by various composers and lyricists, maybe even using parts of generated melodies and lyrics. (It is important to understand that this does not refer to copies, but to original compositions). In tandem with the user’s own input, this process could result in good, or even great, songs. How do we allocate a percentage to different contributions? Even if it were technically possible to trace the origins, the amount of metadata required for payment administration would be enormous. Consequently, the music industry is already in turmoil.

There are various possible methods of compensation. One idea is a subscription-based model. As a songwriter, I would consider allowing an Incubator (and other AI models) to be trained on my works if I could subscribe to a professional version, with part of this subscription going directly to the creative community through publishers and copyright collecting societies. This is viable and should be considered as an approach.

The changes brought about by music, as well as society as a whole, are enormous, and no one knows what awaits us in the future. Technology companies will continue to push for the monetization and scaling of AI models, even as we are just beginning to grasp their use. However, it is essential to ensure protection and fair compensation for original creators.

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