The music industry wants Apple Music & Spotify to block AI music training

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV
AI services have been training on music hosted on streaming services like Apple Music, and Universal Music Group wants it to stop.




Most criticism of AI such as ChatGPT earning money off the back of unpaid creative people, has been focused on text. But now, according to the Financial Times, record labels are concerned about music.

Universal Music Group (UMG), responsible for around a third of the world's music, reportedly contacted streaming services in March 2023 concerning AI. The group told the streamers that AI systems have been trained by scraping lyrics and melodies from

"We have become aware that certain AI systems might have been trained on copyrighted content," said UMG's email to streamers, "without obtaining the required consents from, or paying compensation to, the rightsholders who own or produce the content."

UMG asked the streamers to block access to their music catalog for developers using it for training. "We will not hesitate to take steps to protect our rights and those of our artists," continued the group's email.

"We have a moral and commercial responsibility to our artists to work to prevent the unauthorised use of their music and to stop platforms from ingesting content that violates the rights of artists and other creators," a UMG spokesperson told the publication. "We expect our platform partners will want to prevent their services from being used in ways that harm artists."

"This next generation of technology poses significant issues," an unnamed source told the Financial Times. "Much of [generative AI] is trained on popular music."

"You could say: compose a song that has the lyrics to be like Taylor Swift, but the vocals to be in the style of Bruno Mars, but I want the theme to be more Harry Styles," continued the source. "The output you get is due to the fact the AI has been trained on those artists' intellectual property."

Generative AI systems require an enormous dataset called a Large Language Model (LLM). Google, for instance, reportedly trained a system called MusicLM with 280,000 hours of music.

Google has not released MusicLM publicly, though, as it found that 1% of the music it generated was identical to previous recordings.

The Financial Times says that Spotify declined to comment. Apple has not yet commented publicly, nor are we expecting it to respond to our queries on the matter.

Apple itself is reportedly working on creating music via AI. In 2022, it bought AI Music, a UK-based startup specializing in the field.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,783member
    Good!
    My nephew writes music for movies and TV. He’s very good at what he does and is paid well for it. But I can see a day when the studios tell him, “Yes your music is fantastic, but we can get good enough music from the AI composer for a few pennies.” At that point his career will be over and him, his wife, and their two kids will be out on the street.
    This is the real cost of AI moving into the arts.
    edited April 2023 foregoneconclusionhmurchisonAnilu_777Veritylolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 18
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 18,011member
    "You could say: compose a song that has the lyrics to be like Taylor Swift, but the vocals to be in the style of Bruno Mars, but I want the theme to be more Harry Styles," continued the source. "The output you get is due to the fact the AI has been trained on those artists' intellectual property." 

    Once again, the music business is a generation behind in technology and its effect on their business model.  They are like a dinosaur in quicksand.  A generation ago, file-sharing nearly destroyed the business, all because these companies didn't have the foresight to create a usable, simple and economical way of purchasing digital music.  So, their response was to go Defcon One on not just companies but individuals (as to make an example of them).  This paved the way for Apple's iTunes Music Store, which they were also slow on embracing.  Now we're in the streaming age, and the shortsighted hubris continues.

    So an AI model analyzes songs on various services.  But before that occurs, the AI model has to be allowed access to that material.  That means a human has to allow the AI model to do that, presumably through a subscription.   So, there's really no legal or moral basis to say that AI isn't allowed to listen.  Moreover, it hasn't apparently occurred to the Music Dinosaurs that if someone gives AI a prompt like the one above, it means the they are interested in Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars, and Harry Styles.  Repeat this, and it only increases the chances of more awareness of the artists.  It's something that content creators and even publishers have figured out with YouTube.  Why would AI be any different?  
    uraharabyronlappleinsideruserwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 18
    sdw2001 said: So an AI model analyzes songs on various services.  But before that occurs, the AI model has to be allowed access to that material.  That means a human has to allow the AI model to do that, presumably through a subscription.   So, there's really no legal or moral basis to say that AI isn't allowed to listen.  
    "AI" is just a marketing term that Silicon Valley has latched onto in an effort to obscure what these programs actually do. There's no learning or thinking or creating happening. It's just brute force data manipulation and it requires constant access to exact copies of the writing/art/music. Using exact copies of public domain content is fine. Using exact copies of content that the software company owns outright is fine. But using exact copies of copyrighted content without permission for anything other than "personal use" is a scam. 
    edited April 2023 byronlVeritydanoxlolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 18
    DAalseth said:
    Good!
    My nephew writes music for movies and TV. He’s very good at what he does and is paid well for it. But I can see a day when the studios tell him, “Yes your music is fantastic, but we can get good enough music from the AI composer for a few pennies.” At that point his career will be over and him, his wife, and their two kids will be out on the street.
    This is the real cost of AI moving into the arts.
    Yep...the programs in question are solving nickel/dime financial problems and not creative problems. 
    Anilu_777Veritylolliver
  • Reply 5 of 18
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 18,011member
    DAalseth said:
    Good!
    My nephew writes music for movies and TV. He’s very good at what he does and is paid well for it. But I can see a day when the studios tell him, “Yes your music is fantastic, but we can get good enough music from the AI composer for a few pennies.” At that point his career will be over and him, his wife, and their two kids will be out on the street.
    This is the real cost of AI moving into the arts.


    Well, that's not necessarily true.  First, it won't happen overnight.  Secondly, technological change always destroys some jobs and creates others.  And while AI may change the way he does his job (perhaps very significantly) it's unlikely top replace him completely.  AI cannot make artistic choices.  It can assist with them, but it can't make them.  I do a lot of video editing with audio.  AI could help me sync clips to the audio, time transitions, suggest themes, etc.  But it can't pick which royalty-free music fits the voice of the video beyond generic "emotional piano music" or "country two step".   Creating an emotional reaction and communicating feelings requires....feelings.  
    uraharaAnilu_777byronlwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 18
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 18,011member
    sdw2001 said: So an AI model analyzes songs on various services.  But before that occurs, the AI model has to be allowed access to that material.  That means a human has to allow the AI model to do that, presumably through a subscription.   So, there's really no legal or moral basis to say that AI isn't allowed to listen.  
    "AI" is just a marketing term that Silicon Valley has latched onto in an effort to obscure what these programs actually do. There's no learning or thinking or creating happening. It's just brute force data manipulation and it requires constant access to exact copies of the writing/art/music. Using exact copies of public domain content is fine. Using exact copies of content that the software company owns outright is fine. But using exact copies of copyrighted content without permission for anything other than "personal use" is a scam. 

    A scam? I don't think that fits at all.  It may turn out to be illegal, but it's not a scam.  I also don't know that the AI model requires "constant access."  Once the model understands Taylor Swift's lyric style and Bruno Mars' bass lines, for example, it doesn't forget.   It's not much different than a model recommending specific content based on mood, tempo, style, instrumentation, etc.  Go over to Pixabay and tell me if you think all of the content is human-curated.  These models need to learn (train) on styles...I'm not sure how one can legally prevent programmers from training them on streaming services.  
    uraharabyronlradarthekat
  • Reply 7 of 18
    uraharaurahara Posts: 733member
    sdw2001 said: So an AI model analyzes songs on various services.  But before that occurs, the AI model has to be allowed access to that material.  That means a human has to allow the AI model to do that, presumably through a subscription.   So, there's really no legal or moral basis to say that AI isn't allowed to listen.  
    "AI" is just a marketing term that Silicon Valley has latched onto in an effort to obscure what these programs actually do. There's no learning or thinking or creating happening. It's just brute force data manipulation and it requires constant access to exact copies of the writing/art/music. Using exact copies of public domain content is fine. Using exact copies of content that the software company owns outright is fine. But using exact copies of copyrighted content without permission for anything other than "personal use" is a scam. 
    Like all other terms -,they were often invented to market e.g.. technology better. 
    And if there is no learning and only brute force, how did they created a program which wins at Go game (popular board game in Asia). To do brute force at Go is just not possible at the current technological level - too many options how to move. So the AI LEARNED! what good moves could be. But it is not convincing for you, isn’t it? 🤣 
    byronlradarthekat
  • Reply 8 of 18
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,783member
    sdw2001 said:
    DAalseth said:
    Good!
    My nephew writes music for movies and TV. He’s very good at what he does and is paid well for it. But I can see a day when the studios tell him, “Yes your music is fantastic, but we can get good enough music from the AI composer for a few pennies.” At that point his career will be over and him, his wife, and their two kids will be out on the street.
    This is the real cost of AI moving into the arts.

    Well, that's not necessarily true.  First, it won't happen overnight.  Secondly, technological change always destroys some jobs and creates others.  And while AI may change the way he does his job (perhaps very significantly) it's unlikely top replace him completely.  AI cannot make artistic choices.  It can assist with them, but it can't make them.  I do a lot of video editing with audio.  AI could help me sync clips to the audio, time transitions, suggest themes, etc.  But it can't pick which royalty-free music fits the voice of the video beyond generic "emotional piano music" or "country two step".   Creating an emotional reaction and communicating feelings requires....feelings.  
    This is not like replacing buggies with horseless carriages. All the buggy companies just learned how to put a motor on their product and everyone went on happy and employed. This is more like when companies sent their manufacturing jobs to Japan and China and told the textile workers they would just find better jobs. That didn’t happen. People, hell whole towns were left destitute.

    And it won’t happen with this. Last fall I read an article where Netflix had scanned their animation back catalogue to train an AI. Then they fired their background animators and are using the AI to do the backgrounds, landscapes, room interiors and such. And the animators? Gone, no more work, they were cut loose without a second thought. Netflix saved money, and the artists DIDN’T get better jobs. Is the animation as good? No, but Netflix saved money.

    A few years ago I read where studios were experimenting with computer generated scripts. Back then they needed real writers to clean them up and make them actually usable, but it was the beginning. We are nearly to the point where AI scripts, will be “good enough”.Couple that with AI animation, and and AI music, and you won’t need any creative people. Oh it will start with low budget, direct to disk crap aimed at children. The industry mostly doesn’t respect them as an audience anyway. But after cutting their teeth on that it will move up.

    Stay tuned, in 2035, you will be able to stream a film, All AI created and done in CGI. No actual person below the Producer involved. No writers, musicians, animators, or actors needed. It will have cost pennies to make and will rake in the money.

    Just too bad the people that used to work in that industry won’t be able to afford to see it. 

    Anilu_777Veritylolliverradarthekat
  • Reply 9 of 18
    urahara said: To do brute force at Go is just not possible at the current technological level - too many options how to move. So the AI LEARNED! what good moves could be. But it is not convincing for you, isn’t it? ߤ㦡mp;nbsp;
    FYI: see article below. If the "AI" actually had learning capability then it couldn't have been defeated in the way that it was. A human opponent capable of learning would not make the same mistakes over and over and over. It is mindless brute force.

    https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2023/02/man-beats-machine-at-go-in-human-victory-over-ai/
    edited April 2023 byronlVeritylolliver
  • Reply 10 of 18
    sdw2001 said: I also don't know that the AI model requires "constant access."  Once the model understands Taylor Swift's lyric style and Bruno Mars' bass lines, for example, it doesn't forget. 
    There's no "learning" or "understanding" involved at all. The example of this would be Adobe. They're using an "AI" program to generate art from the Adobe stock library. But they've acknowledged that artists who license their art to Adobe for use in this stock library need to be compensated when the "AI" makes use of it. In other words, they're admitting that the "AI" is useless without constantly accessing the licensed artwork. 

    So when Google says it "trained" an "AI" with 280,000 hours of music...that just means there is a 280,000 hour music database that it has constant access to. 
    edited April 2023 dewmebyronlVeritylolliver
  • Reply 11 of 18
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,402member
    I agree with the UMG. 

    The fundamentals of Copyright are to ensure the evolution of technology by protecting a person or entity's right to profit from their work without undue competition from the appropriation of their IP. 

    The founders of AI technologies are feverishly looking for a way to monetize their work but this cannot happen at the expense of creators.  

    The DMCA is going to have to revise it's language to encompass a process in which creators can make a proper claim if they feel like their content has been appropriated 
    in derivative works. 
    foregoneconclusionAppleZuluAnilu_777byronlVeritylolliver
  • Reply 12 of 18
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 1,938member
    I agree with the UMG. 

    The fundamentals of Copyright are to ensure the evolution of technology by protecting a person or entity's right to profit from their work without undue competition from the appropriation of their IP. 

    The founders of AI technologies are feverishly looking for a way to monetize their work but this cannot happen at the expense of creators.  

    The DMCA is going to have to revise it's language to encompass a process in which creators can make a proper claim if they feel like their content has been appropriated 
    in derivative works. 
    People who create works that are copied or are blatantly derivative of the work of other musicians, writers or artists lose lawsuits, because that's stealing. People who learn from other artists and then create their own works in a way that builds on but is creatively different from their influences don't lose lawsuits, because that's the act of artistic creation.

    Current AI pretty clearly functions by scraping vast quantities of existing human-generated work, chops it into component parts and then recombines those parts per user instructions. That's not artistic creation. That's just "sampling" on steroids. Unless or until there is an actual spark of innovative creation involved, the writers of AI code are simply making IP theft apps, and they should be treated as such.
    edited April 2023 DAalsethVeritydanoxlolliver
  • Reply 13 of 18
    VerityVerity Posts: 3member
    The Biden administration is advocating "self regulation" by AI companies. This is insane. If the Biden administration doesn't do what it should to prevent AI from stealing from artists, I will be one of many artists rallying behind a progressive candidate who will fight for artists. The truth of the matter is that AI steals not just style, but SUBSTANCE or the heart of an artists' work--their identity, personality (the unique life that makes creating one's particular authentic art possible), voice and likeness (metaphorically and sometimes literally), brand, technique, and also style. By training on multiple works by a single artist, the AI has even more of a detrimental effect than if it committed the simple copyright infringement of training on a single work since it can replace that artist. I've read comments where people claim that AI is better at being Eminem than Eminem or Kanye than Kanye. We are literally being colonized and cloned. Sadly, this is being facilitated by greedy humans who already make far more than most artists and who have the means to lobby and influence both Democratic and Republican politicians.

    Also, note that AI companies are begging for regulation for one reason only: They are afraid of the "Brussels Effect." AI companies want the US to the be the first to set up regulation because they know our system is more corrupt than that of the EU and are aware that whichever major power gets it together first will be better able to set the legal precedent for the rest of the world. Basically, they are buying regulation that favors their goals. It's disappointing to see President Biden caving to this and even considering allowing AI companies to "self regulate." I never thought I'd hear a Democratic president advocate such a thing.




  • Reply 14 of 18
    danoxdanox Posts: 2,681member
    Dooofus said:
    And just how do they propose to do this? What's to stop someone from streaming Apple Music to a device and having their AI listen to its speaker through a microphone? Best of luck.
    That would be an analogue solution…..
  • Reply 15 of 18
    VerityVerity Posts: 3member
    danox said:
    Dooofus said:
    And just how do they propose to do this? What's to stop someone from streaming Apple Music to a device and having their AI listen to its speaker through a microphone? Best of luck.
    That would be an analogue solution…..

    I can tell you, as a musician, it is not that easy to get a good recording this way. And most will find out and abandon such a project. Sure, there will always be a nefarious few who will go to great lengths, but this is a problem we've always had and have fought rather successfully. Making piracy easier isn't something the music industry is going to support.
  • Reply 16 of 18
    larryjwlarryjw Posts: 1,031member
    AI samples music just like humans might do. New music is sampling existing sounds and riffling through them to create something new. The result won't likely be as much as Variations on a Theme by xyz. 

    There is no possibility that these musicians didn't do precisely what they are accusing AI doing. 

    What do you think Apple TVs Schmiggadoon is doing? Though I might have expected writers to do a better job. 

  • Reply 17 of 18
    larryjw said:
    AI samples music just like humans might do. New music is sampling existing sounds and riffling through them to create something new. The result won't likely be as much as Variations on a Theme by xyz. 

    There is no possibility that these musicians didn't do precisely what they are accusing AI doing. 

    What do you think Apple TVs Schmiggadoon is doing? Though I might have expected writers to do a better job. 


    I agree. AI samples music. And sampling is considered copyright infringement when the original creator or owner has not consented and been paid for the samples.
Sign In or Register to comment.