|WEDNESDAY 30 AUGUST 2023||COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM|
|TODAY'S TOP STORY: The US Copyright Office has opened up a public consultation about all the copyright issues raised by artificial intelligence and especially generative AI. It is now inviting any interested parties to submit their opinions and positions, identifying four main topics for debate and posing a stack of more specific questions... [READ MORE]|
US Copyright Office identifies four key topics as it opens a consultation on artificial intelligence
Its formal announcement in the Federal Register states that, to "help assess whether legislative or regulatory steps in this area are warranted", the Copyright Office "seeks comment on these issues, including those involved in the use of copyrighted works to train AI models, the appropriate levels of transparency and disclosure with respect to the use of copyrighted works, and the legal status of AI-generated outputs".
The American music industry is sure to have lots of opinions to share. There has, of course, been lots of debate in recent months within the music community about the challenges and opportunities posed by AI, including the AI models that generate music.
For the music industry at large, the first of the four topics identified by the Copyright Office is probably the priority. That relates to when an AI company uses existing copyright-protected works - for example songs and recordings - to train its generative AI models.
The music industry - and other copyright industries - are adamant that any such training requires consent from the copyright owner and, without that consent, the AI company is liable for copyright infringement. But not all AI companies agree.
"The Office is aware that there is disagreement about whether or when the use of copyrighted works to develop datasets for training AI models is infringing", the Office's announcement says.
"This notice seeks information about the collection and curation of AI datasets, how those datasets are used to train AI models, the sources of materials ingested into training, and whether permission by and/or compensation for copyright owners is or should be required when their works are included".
"To the extent that commenters believe such permission and/or compensation is necessary", it adds, "the Office seeks their views on what kind of remuneration system(s) might be feasible and effective. The Office also seeks information regarding the retention of records necessary to identify underlying training materials and the availability of this information to copyright owners and others".
Another big debate within the music community - and especially among music-makers - relates to the AI models that can imitate the voice or likeness of established artists.
That is another of the four topics being considered by the Copyright Office, even though - as it notes - "these personal attributes are not generally protected by copyright law", and instead "their copying may implicate varying state rights of publicity and unfair competition law".
The other two topics identified by the Copyright Office relate to the copyright status of AI-generated works and who might be liable if an AI model generates content that arguably infringes copyright in one way or another.
The Copyright Office has already given quite a lot of consideration as to whether works generated by AI should enjoy copyright protection, because in the US you need to register works to get full protection under copyright law, and the Office has had to decide whether to allow AI-generated works to be registered.
Its position to date has generally been that works entirely generated by AI do not enjoy copyright protection and that position was backed by a US court earlier this month.
However, AI-assisted works - where a human creator employs AI tools as part of the creative process - probably do enjoy copyright protection. That, of course, raises further questions about how much human involvement there needs to be for a work to be AI-assisted rather than AI-generated.
"Although we believe the law is clear that copyright protection in the United States is limited to works of human authorship", the Office's announcement explains, "questions remain about where and how to draw the line between human creation and AI-generated content".
"For example, are there circumstances where a human's use of a generative AI system could involve sufficient control over the technology, such as through the selection of training materials and multiple iterations of instructions, to result in output that is human-authored?"
The final topic has not been so widely discussed in the music industry, though as the music community starts to increasingly employ AI tools as part of the music-making process, or to create visual, video or text content as part of marketing activities, it's an important question.
If an AI tool generates a piece of content that arguably infringes copyright - either because the dataset used to train the AI model was not properly licensed or because an output is substantially similar to an existing work in the dataset and such similarity is not allowed by any licence - who is liable for the alleged copyright infringement?
Which is to say, could the person who used the AI tool also be liable? The Office notes: "If an output is found to be substantially similar to a copyrighted work that was part of the training dataset, and the use does not qualify as fair, how should liability be apportioned between the user whose instructions prompted the output and developers of the system and dataset?"
Interested parties have until 18 Oct to make written submissions.
The US Copyright Office study - part of an AI initiative it launched earlier this year - follows recent hearings in US Congress that also put the spotlight on the copyright questions posed by artificial intelligence and especially generative AI.
Those questions are also big talking points in the UK, of course, although with one difference, in that under UK law AI-generated works do arguably enjoy copyright protection.
As for the other issues, the Intellectual Property Office recently convened a working group of organisations representing copyright owners and the tech sector to develop of code of practice around AI and copyright.
That follows a previous IPO review that proposed introducing a new copyright exception into UK law that would have reduced the obligations of AI companies making use of copyright-protected works, a proposal that was strongly opposed by the music and wider copyright industries, and subsequently dropped.
The culture select committee in the UK Parliament has also just published a report that includes some discussion on copyright and AI. It welcomes the government's back-tracking on its previous proposal of introducing a new copyright exception. However, it also criticises the fact the exception was ever proposed.
The fact it was, the MPs write, "shows a clear lack of understanding of the needs of the UK's creative industries. All branches of government need to better understand the impact of AI, and technology more broadly, on the creative industries and be able to defend their interests consistently".
And, more generally, "the government should support the continuance of a strong copyright regime in the UK and be clear that licences are required to use copyrighted content in AI. In line with our previous work, this Committee also believes that the government should act to ensure that creators are well rewarded in the copyright regime".
German police drop investigation into sexual assault claims against Rammstein frontman
Responding to the news in a statement, lawyers for Lindemann said: "The rapid termination of investigative proceedings by the Berlin state prosecutor's office shows that there is insufficient evidence that our client allegedly committed sexual offences".
Allegations against Lindemann began to surface in May when a woman named Shelby Lynn claimed online that she had been drugged after being invited to join pre- and after-show parties at a concert in Vilnius, Lithuania.
After she went public, other women came forward with their own allegations. Both Lindemann and the band strongly denied these accusations. However, police in Berlin launched an investigation.
Now prosecutors say that Lynn's claims were too vague to pursue and that nothing she had witnessed could be deemed a criminal offence. An investigation into Alena Makeeva, a woman alleged to have been involved in selecting women to meet Lindemann backstage, has also been dropped.
Bauer extends Greatest Hits Radio to FM in the East Midlands
It will take over the frequency currently used by Gem Radio, the local station Bauer acquired back in 2016 as part of its purchase of independent radio company Orion Media. Gem - which is part of Bauer's Hits Radio network - will continue to operate but only on DAB and online.
Bauer, of course, has prioritised the expansion of Greatest Hits Radio for some time now, putting it onto various FM frequencies around the country that were previously used by other Bauer-owned stations.
Confirming the latest switchover, Bauer Media's Gary Stein says: "Following Ken Bruce's arrival at Greatest Hits Radio earlier this year there's been a huge desire from FM audiences to be able to listen to his show along with the rest of our fantastic programming - evidenced by the station's latest RAJAR [official listening] figures".
"This change means that listeners in the East Midlands can enjoy greater access to the station", he adds, "whilst Gem Radio's audience can continue to enjoy the station, including the 'Breakfast Show With Jo & Sparky', on DAB digital radio and online".
Duran Duran cover Billie Eilish and Talking Heads on Halloween-themed new album
"The idea was born out of a show we played in Las Vegas on 31 Oct 2022", says keyboardist Nick Rhodes. "We had decided to seize the moment to create a unique, special event - the temptation of using glorious gothic visuals set to a dark soundtrack of horror and humour was simply irresistible".
Elaborating further, frontman Simon Le Bon barks: "It's about a crazy Halloween party. It's supposed to be fun!"
Meanwhile, bassist John Taylor reckons the album "offers an interesting insight into the personality of the band", while drummer Roger Taylor adds that it takes a journey "through the darker side of our inspirations into where we're at in 2023" in a way that may leave you "with a deeper understanding of how Duran Duran got to this moment in time".
Covers on the album include Billie Eilish's 'Bury A Friend', Siouxsie And The Banshee's 'Spellbound', 'Paint It Black' by The Rolling Stones, 'Ghost Town' by The Specials, and Talking Heads' 'Psycho Killer', featuring Victoria De Angelis of Måneskin.
Other guests on the album include Nile Rodgers and the band's former guitarists Andy Taylor and Warren Cuccurullo. It also reunites them with producer Mr Hudson, who they previously worked with on their 2015 record 'Paper Gods'.
The album is out on 27 Oct. Out now is the first single and title track 'Danse Macabre', which Rhodes says "celebrates the joy and madness of Halloween". Listen to that here.
Luci announces debut album, releases new single
She wants the LP, she says, to "touch all the senses", commenting: "My inspiration comes from the fact that great art exists in the world. And if I can touch people, move people, and it makes people want to do things for the better. I want to be the example of doing what you love and being relentless about it".
Speaking about the new single, she adds: "I wanted to give the people lyrics, it's a song for the ego, something for my people to chant. I'm on my lil rap jug. Power, pressure, hard and loud but melodic".
'They Say They Love You' is set for release on 2 Feb 2024. Watch the video for 'Martyr' here.
Warner Chappell has signed a publishing deal with rapidly rising rapper Kaliii. "There's a new generation of talented lyricists making waves in the industry right now and Kaliii is a clear standout above the rest", says the company's North American President Ryan Press. "She's an incredibly talented songwriter who knows what she wants in her career and the whole Warner Chappell team is grateful to be joining her on this journey".
LABELS & PUBLISHERS
JKBX, the new music rights investment platform headed up by The Orchard founder Scott Cohen, will officially launch on 12 Sep providing - and I quote - "retail investors and music fans with the opportunity to reserve royalty shares of globally-recognised songs offered by its affiliate, Jukebox Hits Vol 1 LLC". So, basically, people will be able to confirm an interest in buying royalty shares in relation to the song rights in works recorded by the likes of Beyonce, Adele, Taylor Swift, OneRepublic, Ed Sheeran, Kelly Clarkson, Major Lazer and Jonas Brothers.
Jason Derulo has released new single 'Body Count'. "This record is about having a more playful and casual attitude toward romantic and physical relationships and focusing on creating memorable experiences together", he says. "Like the song says, 'I don't really care about your body count cause I just want to make that body count'".
Corinne Bailey Rae has released new track 'Erasure'. Wanna hear it? Well, it's only currently available as the b-side to a limited edition seven-inch of recent single 'New York Transit Queen'. "Some of the themes of 'Erasure' are concerned with the erasure of black childhood so I wanted it to be unhinged and witchy, allowing broken down collapsed mental health in", she says. "How else do you sing, 'They put out lit cigarettes/Down your sweet throat/They fed you to the alligators'?"
The Callous Daoboys have announced that they will release new EP 'God Smiles Upon The Callous Daoboys' on 20 Oct. Out now is new single 'Waco Jesus'. "In a way, it feels like the band just started, even though we've been chipping away at it for the last six years", says vocalist Carson Pace. "We want to be the defining band of this weirdo genre-swapping heavy music, where you can't put it under an umbrella. I think what's cool about it is it's just immediately like, 'Hey, fuck you, this is The Callous Daoboys!'"
Knife Bride have released new single 'Permanent Smile', which vocalist Mollie Buckley describes as "a romanticised revenge narrative". She goes on: "I've always been fascinated with films like 'I Spit On Your Grave', 'Hard Candy' and 'Promising Young Woman', and that's definitely where the concept for the song came from. Retribution is always sweet… or so says cinema". The track is taken from new EP 'Don't Dream Too Much'. They will play a free EP launch show at Blondies in London on 1 Sep.
GIGS & TOURS
Sarabeth Tucek has announced UK tour dates in support of new album 'Joan Of All'. Taking place next week, the run will wind up at The Lexington in London on 10 Sep.
Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.
Discarded tents remain a big issue at Reading and Leeds Festivals
Images shared on TikTok by drone photography company Big Ladder shows hundreds of discarded tents and other waste across the campsites from last weekend's festival, despite efforts to convince ticket holders to leave the fields clear when they depart.
Although, while the event is clearly not having the level success some other festivals have achieved in terms of persuading attendees to take their waste away with them, after years of looking at these images, it is clear that there is some improvement.
Organisers have encouraged festival-goers to take their tents away with them in recent years, which last year resulted in a 21% decrease in the number left behind. And from this year's images it looks like there has been a further reduction. Although, that doesn't mean there aren't still a fuck load of tents left on the festival's site.
While it would be preferable for everyone to take their tents away with them, a spokesperson for Reading Festival says that what is left behind does not simply go to landfill.
"We coordinate a salvage operation after the festival", they explain, from which organisations can "collect some of the perfectly reusable camping equipment that is left behind", thus reducing the total amount of waste that has to be dealt with.
So that's good, I guess. And at least things seem to be slowly moving in the right direction each year. Although we shouldn't forget that Reading Festival has a twin up in Leeds, where this is also an issue. In fact, one volunteer who arrived at the Leeds site to help with the clear up operation there this year tweeted that they found "littering on the grandest scale we've ever witnessed".