Universal Music Group Requests That AI Access To Its Songs Be Blocked By Streaming Services

According to a recent Financial Times article, the biggest music label in the world, Universal Music Group, is requesting that significant streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music forbid artificial intelligence companies from using their music to “train” their technology. For the bots to understand the lyrics and music and ultimately produce songs or melodies in those styles, the AI companies upload copyrighted music from the platforms into their technology.

Among countless examples, David Guetta recently used ChatGPT to incorporate a rap from an AI-generated Eminem into one of his songs. Although he has ostensibly avoided copyright issues by not releasing the song, using the real Eminem, a Universal artist, opens up a whole new world of copyright issues. It is now possible for AI to produce music that resembles artists like Maroon 5 singing a Taylor Swift song or, possibly, Napalm Death covering a Celine Dion song.

Even though artificial intelligence has been around for a while, the introduction of ChatGPT last year brought several unresolved copyright issues to the attention of the music industry, which has been mobilizing to resolve them in recent weeks. The Human Artistry Campaign was launched last month by more than 40 organizations, including the Recording Academy, the National Music Publishers Association, and the Recording Industry of America.

The coalition aims to ensure that artificial intelligence technologies are developed and used in ways that support human culture and artistry rather than ways that undermine or replace it.

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