SONY MUSIC'S KOOKER WEIGHS IN ON AI AT D.C. FORUM

Sony Music Entertainment President of Global Digital Business and U.S. Sales Dennis Kooker outlined the company’s plans for and concerns about the role of copyright and intellectual property in the development of AI technology today (11/29) in Washington, D.C., at the seventh Artificial Intelligence Insight Forum. The event was led by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).

Noting that SME has sent nearly 10,000 takedown notices for unauthorized deepfakes on a variety of platforms, Kooker thanked senators such as Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Chris Koons (D-Conn.) for authoring a discussion draft of the No FAKES Act. This legislation would “create a federal property right in one’s voice or visual likeness and protect against unauthorized AI-generated replicas.” Kooker said he hopes both the House and Senate will “ensure the appropriate rights are in place for ethical AI practices.”

In the meantime, SME is engaged in “roughly 200 active conversations” with “startups and established players” to build tools and products related to creative, marketing and security. Kooker volunteered that one such project, which “will publicly launch very soon,” entails partnering with an unnamed artist team on a reissue and remix of a previously released album with the aid of generative AI technology.

“The product we are releasing is very much an experiment and a first of its kind,” he said. “It will have a visual element and a separate audio element. The consumer can combine them to create a new visual and audio experience. Fans will be able to input prompts while listening to the music that will transform the visual experience. They will also be able to play with aspects of the audio to create a new remixed excerpt of the music. Consumers will be able to download the visuals and 30-second clips of the music. Eventually, they will be able to purchase a longer version of the song they remixed.”

In closing, Kooker urged Capitol Hill to take steps to assure consent, credit and compensation; confirm that copying music to train AI models is not classified as fair use; prevent the cloning of artist voices and likenesses without their permission; incentivize accurate record-keeping; and assure transparency for consumers and artists alike.

“Delay in firming up this landscape will create uncertainty that will negatively impact innovation and make it challenging for responsible and ethical generative AI companies to compete with rogue players that disregard intellectual-property rights,” he said.

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