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Songwriters to Meet With Congress in Bid to Set Rules for AI Use

Songwriters to Meet With Congress in Bid to Set Rules for 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. 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:

  • 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 consent
  • 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

The meetings will follow tonight’s 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 continues to be a divisive topic in music circles. Some artists, namely Holly Herndon and Grimes, have embraced or accepted artificial intelligence’s place in the world and have used AI software to create new music. Major labels, on the other hand, have struggled at times to keep up with the rapid creation of AI songs and the copyrights conundrums they present. Prominently, an anonymous creator called Ghostwriter has made Drake– and Travis Scott–mimicking songs that have resonated with online audiences, making it tricky for fans and rights holders to figure out whether they count as “legitimate” works. Harvey Mason Jr., the chief executive of the Recording Academy and a producer in his own right, has clarified that Ghostwriters’ tracks are not eligible for Grammy Awards submission.


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