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Copyright & Regulation

John Phelan (ICMP): ‘Ensuring AI companies have clear respect for copyright and exclusive rights’

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John Phelan is Director General of the International Confederation of Music Publishers.(ICMP). In this opinion piece, he explains what the Brussels-based organisation representing the global music publishing community is expecting from the Belgian Presidency of the European Union.

ICMP’s John Phelan

“For the music industry, the headline is that the Belgian government’s Presidency of the EU will be tasked with corralling governments, coordinating texts, and chalking off the technical details of December’s political deal on the future EU AI Act. That will not be just semantics though, there’s substance to be secured there.

We want to ensure the Presidency ensures the EU AI laws are fit for purpose by ensuring AI companies have clear respect for copyright and exclusive rights, that our sector can access details on dataset and Large Language Model training, irrespective of where it was carried out and to ensure these companies have reporting and documentation retention requirements.  

It’s clear there is considerable pressure coming in from some heavyweight governments on the final scope and details of the AI Act. We will work with the Presidency and other decision makers to try and resist and efforts to dilute.   

Monitor how digital partners have engaged with the law

They also promise a ‘best practices’ exchange on the implementation of the EU Copyright Directive. That’s been a constant task for ICMP across the 27 Member States since its passing in 2019. Poland is the only country yet to complete, and with Donald Tusk the recently installed PM, that is a situation which will soon be rectified.

A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since Article 17 and the Directive passed, and we’ll be happy to supply our experience of how European governments and indeed digital partners have engaged with the laws. 

The push for a “a human-centered approach” the EU’s digital policy is something we welcome, particularly in the context of our ongoing support of the Human Artistry Campaign and AI. 

Focus on EU trade policy

The Presidency intends to “highlight the role of culture” and “also shed light on the working conditions of artists and creative professionals.”. The bottom line is that governments in Europe should be backing the basic mantra of our industry: that music and music makers need have their rights respected, their work valued and their sector sustainably supported. 

At ICMP we work heavily on EU trade policy, and so we have welcomed the Presidency’s recognition of its “vital role”. Why? Trade policy is ever increasingly important in setting business frameworks worldwide for copyright intensive industries such as the music industry. It’s the means by which the EU exports laws and standards. So, we will continue to work closely on those discussions with the Council and Commission.

By John Phelan, Director General, ICMP

Emmanuel is a Washington, DC-based freelance journalist, blogger and media consultant, specialising in the entertainment business and cultural trends. He was the US editor for British music industry trade publication Music Week. Previously, he was the editor of Impact, a magazine for the music publishing community (2007-2009), the global editor of US trade publication Billboard (2003-2006), and the editor in chief of Billboard’s sister publication Music & Media (1997-2003).

Copyright & Regulation

South Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism puts out a Generative AI and Copyright Guide in English

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The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) in South Korea, in partnership with the Korea Copyright Commission, have released the 'Generative AI and Copyright Guide' in English in response to "the frequent use of K-content for AI training abroad and Korean culture (Hallyu) fans’ creation of content similar to K-content using generative AI."

A Korean version of the Guide was initially released on December 2023. The MCST said this initiative aims "to clarify legal uncertainties related ...

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Copyright & Regulation

Motion Picture Association urges Congress to adopt site-blocking legislation in the US

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Charles Rivkin, the Chairman and CEO Motion Picture Association (MPA), announced that his organisation was going to work with Members of Congress with the goal to "enact site-blocking legislation in the US."

Rivkin made the announcement at the CinemaCon 2024, the yearly gathering of the global motion picture theater industry, held in Las Vegas and organised by the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO).

MPA's Charles Rivkin

Rivkin described site-blocking as "a targeted, legal tac...

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Copyright & Regulation

Parliament report calls on UK Government to introduce a private copying scheme

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A report from British Parliament's House of Commons' Culture, Media and Sport (CMS) Committee has made several recommendations to ensure that creators receive fair remuneration for their works, in particular through the introduction of a private copying scheme.

The report on 'Creator remuneration' from the CMS Committee calls on the Government to ensure creators are compensated "when people copy or move content such as songs to or between their devices (known as private copying)."

The re...

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