RIAA sees AI music mixers as an emerging copyright threat, while legal experts scratch their heads over AI copyright issues

In a response to a request from the Office of the US Trade Representative, the Recording Industry Association of America indicated that artificial intelligence (AI)-powered music websites that perform remixes, enhance homemade tracks, or strip the songs of their voices harm the artists. Songmastr, one of the mentioned platforms promises to “master” any song based on the style of famous artists such as Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Coltrane, Bob Dylan, James Brown and many more. Although Songmastr’s service is a bit more advanced, the RIAA considers it a clear violation.

The Recording Industry Association of America is an interprofessional association which defends the interests of the music industry like SNEP in France. Its main members are private companies owning labels and record companies. The music industry lobby body says services using machine learning to edit tracks infringe artists’ rights.

Artificial intelligence is undoubtedly the technology that is currently making the most buzz, whether among informed people or among lay people, everyone is talking about it. In some cases, these are little more than advanced algorithms, but complex self-learning computer systems with human-like characteristics are also being developed.

Artificial intelligence does not exist, according to Luc Julia, one of the inventors of Apple’s Siri voice assistant, current vice-president of innovation at Samsung World, and director of Samsung’s AI research laboratory.

To justify his remarks, he says this: I’m a little tired of all the nonsense we’ve been hearing over the past few years about artificial intelligence and I wanted to set the record straight. We don’t know what intelligence is, so we can’t build artificial intelligence. What has been called “artificial intelligence” since 1956 are mathematical techniques that have nothing to do with intelligence. The fact remains that these techniques (deep learning, machine learning, etc.) are very interesting. But the machine does not create, does not reflect, and humans retain full control over these techniques.

For many companies, AI can be used to stand out from the competition, by creating added value on an existing product or service, while other companies that have emerged in recent years have decided to do their core product or build their products and services on artificial intelligence technology.

From a copyright perspective, AI can raise some interesting questions. For example, can content created by an AI be protected by copyright like any other work? Or maybe AI can infringe copyrights held by others?

There are online services which, allegedly using artificial intelligence (AI), extract, or rather copy, the voices, instruments or part of the instruments (a musical stem) from a sound recording, and/or generate , master or remix a recording to be very similar or nearly as good as artists’ reference tracks.

Because these services train their AI models using our members’ music, such use is unauthorized and violates our members’ rights by making copies. In any event, the files distributed by these services are either unauthorized copies or unauthorized derivative works of our members’ music, writes the RIAA.

AI and copyright

While legal experts scratch their heads over AI copyright issues, the RIAA has already ruled on a selection of services claiming to offer AI music rippers and mixers. Responding to a request from the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR), the music group highlighted several such sites in its annual piracy markets report.

master of song

Songmastr is one of the platforms mentioned. This service promises to “master” any song based on the style of famous musical artists such as Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Coltrane, Bob Dylan, James Brown and many more. The site’s underlying technology is powered by Matchering 2.0 open-source code, which is freely available on GitHub. And indeed, its alleged artificial intelligence capabilities feature prominently in the site’s tagline.

This service uses artificial intelligence and is based on the open source Matchering library. The algorithm masters your track with the same RMS, FR, peak amplitude and stereo width as the reference track you choose,” explains Songmastr.

According to some analysts, it is not clear where artificial intelligence comes into play. The same can be said for the sites Acapella-Extractor and Remove-Vocals, which the RIAA classifies in the same category. The names of these services are quite self-explanatory: they separate the vocals from the rest of the song. Logically, the RIAA does not want third parties to remove the music or vocals from copyrighted material, especially when such derivative works are then shared with others.

To illustrate the divergence of ideas on the question, South Africa issues the first patent in the world mentioning an artificial intelligence as inventor. While the UK Intellectual Property Office decides that AIs cannot be listed as inventors.

For inventions designed by AI, we do not expect any changes to UK patent law. Most respondents believe that artificial intelligence is not yet advanced enough to invent without human intervention. But we will keep this area of ​​law under review to ensure that the UK patent system supports AI innovation and the use of AI in the UK. We will seek to advance discussions on the invention of AI internationally to support the UK’s economic interests, says the UK Intellectual Property Office.

In the case of South Africa, the issuance of this patent answers the question of who owns the product of an artificial intelligence. In the present case, the South African court rules that the owner of the patent is the owner of the artificial intelligence. The issue remains unresolved in other jurisdictions. Indeed, in the context of setting up an artificial intelligence, we must question the origin of the data used for the training process, in particular, on the questions of copyright relating to the latter.

Although Songmastr’s service is a bit more advanced, the RIAA considers it a clear violation. After all, the original copyrighted titles are used by the site to create derivative works, without the necessary permission.

To the extent that these services, or their partners, train their AI models using our members’ music, such use is unauthorized and infringes our members’ rights by making unauthorized copies of our members’ works. members. In any event, the files that these services distribute are either unauthorized copies or unauthorized derivative works of our members’ music, adds the RIAA.

So far, Songmaster does not appear to be a major threat in terms of traffic. With less than 200 visits per day over the past 12 months, it hasn’t really managed to establish itself. Acapella-Extractor and Remove-Vocals are more popular, with a few hundred thousand monthly visits. In addition to emerging threats related to artificial intelligence, the RIAA lists various torrent sites, download sites, streamrippers and ISPs. The popular video app likee.video is also listed there, as it has reportedly not obtained the proper licenses for the tracks it uses.

Source: RIAA

And you?

What is your opinion on the subject?

In your opinion, should AI systems be considered patent inventors?

See as well :

South Africa issues the world’s first patent mentioning an artificial intelligence as inventor: what are the benefits for companies in the sector? What dangers?

UK Intellectual Property Office rules AI cannot be named as inventors on patents

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