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Songwriters to Meet With Congress to Advocate for Rules on AI Use

Major songwriters will meet with members of Congress tomorrow in Washington, D.C., urging them to adopt legislation on artificial intelligence in music, PR Newswire reports.

Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, Paul Williams, Madison Love, Cirkut, Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, Matthew West, and more will meet with officials as part of American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers’ Stand With Songwriters advocacy day. The songwriters are seeking legislation that adheres to ASCAP’s “six principles” for AI. Those six principles are...

  • Human Creators First: Prioritizing rights and compensation for human creativity
  • Consent: Protecting the right to decide whether one’s work is included in an AI training license
  • Compensation: Making sure creators are paid fairly when their work is used in ANY way by AI, which is best accomplished in a free market, NOT with government-mandated licensing that essentially eliminates consen
  • Credit: when creators’ works are used in new AI-generated music.
  • Transparency: in identifying AI vs. human-generated works and retaining metadata.
  • Global Consistency: An even playing field that values intellectual property across the global music and data ecosystem.

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The meetings will follow tonight’s (September 20) ASCAP Foundation–sponsored We Write the Songs concert at the Library of Congress, featuring performances by several of the above-mentioned artists. Paul Williams, ASCAP’s chairman of the board and president, said in a statement, “True music comes from deep within our souls; it’s human-first, heart songs, revealing and often healing our human condition. Now we need Congress to put humans first, stand with songwriters and protect our rights to our own musical works. Don’t give them away to AI.”

Artificial intelligence is a divisive topic not only in the music industry, but in all of the entertainment industry. Some artists like Holly Herndon and Grimes have embraced it, while others have denounced it. Back in July, the Recording Academy instituted new AI guidelines for the Grammy Awards. Recording Academy President Harvey Mason Jr. said "only human creators" can win the music industry’s highest honor. “A work that contains no human authorship is not eligible in any category,” the new rules read in part.

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Article Image: A robotic hand touches a multicolored sound board. (BiancoBlue via DepositPhotos.)

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About Kathryn Milewski

  • New Jersey