Major Songwriting Organizations Take Fight for AI Regulations to Halls of Congress

After reports surfaced indicating that Hollywood studios may be willing to make concessions amid the Writers Guild of America strike with regards to how AI is leveraged in the creative process, a new battlefront is emerging in the halls of the music industry. 

Last week, the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), hosted over 70 lawmakers for its annual "We Write the Songs" concert at the Library of Congress, Bloomberg Law reports. ASCAP additionally engaged with lawmakers to request safeguards aimed at protecting the rights of human artists who face competition from algorithms and other generative AI driven systems.

Following the concert, ASCAP members met with 25 congressional offices. In those conversations, ASCAP members reportedly presented and advocated for a regulatory framework consisting of six AI principles, including prioritizing human creators, obtaining consent, ensuring fair compensation, proper credit attribution, transparency and global consistency.

"Artificial intelligence has added yet another layer of stress and anxiety and has interrupted a lot of our sleep as creators,” ASCAP President Paul Williams said at the event. "I know you’re all evaluating AI right now because it will touch every aspect of our lives, but I ask that when you do act, you remember to protect creators in all creative industries."

Overall, ASCAP's position remains as such that AI companies should obtain licenses to use musical works for training purposes. That position was echoed by Nick Lehman, ASCAP's Executive Vice President.

Lehman later qualified his position, stating that ASCAP is not inherently being "anti-tech" in its approach. He also indicated that AI could serve as a valuable tool for artistic expression and innovation in creativity, provided the interests of human creators remain safeguarded.

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