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Copyright, AI and the music industry

This project looks at the future of the music industry in view of technological developments in artificial intelligence (AI), in particular the implications for copyright law. It looks at creativity in light of AI and considers how copyright should respond.

For example, will smart contracts replace licensing schemes? Will AI be writing songs? How does this effect the copyright ownership and enforcement in the music industry? Are musical works created by AI original, do they qualify for copyright protection and do they infringe existing work? This is an exciting topic at the forefront of copyright policy and technological development.

The results of the research will be published in a book on Copyright and the Music Industry which includes looking at the impact of AI technologies on the future of the music industry. The book is commissioned by Edward Elgar as part of their practical law series.

Our evidence given to the UK Intellectual Property Office who sought views on the implications artificial intelligence might have for IP policy argues that:

  1. The analogy of copying someone’s work inside a human brain, is not an appropriate way of considering whether copyright protected works are infringed by AI.
  2. The test for copyright infringement in these circumstances needs to be adapted, in that it focuses on the AI ‘Producers’ (meaning the person responsible) activities (such as data input) rather than the output.
  3. It should be clarified in what circumstances the current copyright exceptions apply to AI processes.
  4. It needs to be considered whether or not private agreements could or should be made above or below any policy decision as to the ownership of copyright in AI-generated works.
  5. There should be a distinction between AI-assisted works and AI-generated works.
  6. Additional rights should be considered such as performance and moral rights.

Read the full paper here.


Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project


Related Research Group(s)

AI: Social and Digital Innovation

AI: Social and Digital Innovation - Social, economic and strategic effects of AI and associated technologies. Impact of AI and related technologies on societies, organisations and individuals.

Law, Economics and Finance

Law, Economics and Finance - The Centre for Law, Economics and Finance aims to advance the wider societal impact of our research by engaging with policymakers, practitioners and other stakeholder.


Partnering with confidence

Organisations interested in our research can partner with us with confidence backed by an external and independent benchmark: The Knowledge Exchange Framework. Read more.


Project last modified 29/06/2021