European Union Approves AI Act to Safeguard Music Industry Against Unlawful AI Practices

In a significant development for the music industry, European Union member states have given the green light to the final draft of the EU AI Act. This landmark legislation, aimed at regulating various applications of artificial intelligence, includes provisions crucial to the music sector, particularly concerning generative AI.

Director General of the International Confederation Of Music Publishers (ICMP), John Phelan, lauded the approval of the AI Act, emphasizing its role in providing protection to creators and copyright owners. Phelan highlighted the pressing issue of certain AI companies circumventing laws and engaging in the unauthorized acquisition of global music for training their models. He expressed confidence that once the legislation comes into effect in Europe, it will create a ripple effect globally.

Concerns had been raised during the legislative process about potential dilution of certain aspects of the AI Act, especially those related to transparency. Some EU member states sought further changes, raising fears that critical measures could be compromised. However, the final hurdle was cleared when France, the last holdout, withdrew its opposition last week after securing specific concessions. The next step in the process involves the ratification of the AI Act by the European Parliament.

The ICMP specifically welcomes three key aspects of the AI Act. Firstly, the legislation mandates that AI companies adhere to EU copyright law, ensuring a legal framework for the use of music in AI applications. Secondly, it requires AI companies to enhance transparency in their dealings with the music industry, providing clarity on whether music was utilized for training models or generative AI output. Thirdly, once generative AI output, such as music or video, enters the EU, the legislation imposes obligations to maintain detailed documentation on the content used to train the model, regardless of where in the world the training occurred.

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