ICMP Press release: EU AI ACT

February 2 2024

Friday, 2 February, Brussels: Today the 27 EU Member State governments voted unanimously in favour of ‘The EU Artificial Intelligence Act’.

This is key legislation for the global music industry. It will play a role in ending serious ongoing malpractices such as the illegal acquisition of the world’s music to train Large Language Models (LLMs) and the subsequent commercial scale Generative AI output – often by some of the world’s largest companies.

The EU AI Act, which now moves to the European Parliament for ratification, aims for:

  • Respect for rights – AI companies must observe EU copyright law. Those AI companies who are illegally taking the world’s music to train AI models and make Generative AI are obliged to stop. Permission for use of copyright protected music must be secured from rightholders and creators.
  • Transparency obligations – AI companies must increase transparency to the music industry as to whether music was used for training models or Generative AI output.
  • Global effect – Once Generative AI output such as music or video hits the EU, obligations will apply to retain detailed documentation on what content was used to train the model – irrespective of where in the world the training took place.

John Phelan, ICMP Director General said:

“For the music industry, AI is neither new nor novel. We have been adopting AI for many years, including how music is made, how it’s delivered to fans, how streaming licenses work and how rights are enforced online.

What is new is the recent wave of AI companies – some of the largest including OpenAI, Anthropic and Microsoft – who refuse to observe laws and are illegally acquiring the world’s music to train their models and feed Generative AI. Simply put, there isn’t a music company or music maker anywhere unharmed by such practices. ICMP has been fighting for the EU AI laws to include robust protections. This deal includes those protections.

The EU AI Act will reinforce the reality of the relationship between copyright laws and tech – General Purpose AI companies must not use music without permission, are obliged to secure authorisation, they must stop illegal scraping and they must retain technical documentation on how they are training their models.

These laws will have a ripple effect internationally. Not only will they apply to AI companies worldwide once GenAI output hits the Single Market, they will inform similar negotiations in many other countries.

Today the 27 EU governments have planted their flag around this deal. ICMP now turns its daily focus to working to win support from the 705 Members of the European Parliament when they vote in April. The battle continues. The goals remain the same – respect music, take a license, pay creators.”

See official press release here