The Society of Composers, Authors & Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN), along with a coalition of music organizations, has written to the Government of Canada concerning the impact of Artificial Intelligence on the music industry. The letter provided recommendations aimed at ensuring that AI does not “replace human creativity and culture.”

“This letter is the first step in setting important principles for the Government of Canada to consider as they explore the regulatory and copyright policy framework that will apply to AI systems while respecting creators and human expression,” said Jennifer Brown, SOCAN CEO.

While the letter acknowledged AI’s potential to support and enhance the work of human creators, it emphasized the importance of maintaining the balance and policy goals of the Copyright Act. That entails fostering human creativity and enabling creators and their representatives to control how their works are used and by whom.

The letter outlines three specific concerns about the impact of AI on the music industry:

  1. The pre-existing creative works exploited by AI models without consent from or compensation for rights holders
  2. The risk AI systems pose to the livelihood of human creators
  3. The risk of AI systems being used to imitate creators’ voice or likeness without their knowledge or consent

SOCAN and the organizations who signed the letter recommend that the Canadian Government adopt the following set of principles as part of any AI regulatory or policy framework:

  • Any proposal that weakens or conflicts with the objective to protect human expression and copyright should be rejected.
  • There should be no new copyright exceptions that would permit AI developers to use creators’ works without permission to develop AI models.
  • AI developers must be transparent about the specific works exploited by an AI model and how the works were sourced and used. Creators must be able to identify whether their works have been used.
  • Developers of AI models should be required to implement a method to identify or detect AI-generated content, and the music industry should be encouraged to adopt a labeling standard to identify AI-generated music.
  • AI developers must obtain permission from creators or their representatives before using their intellectual property or personality rights, including voice and likeness.