NMC Issues Statement Expressing Consensus Views Of Its Music Creator, Copyright Owner, And Educator Members Regarding Generative AI

July 8, 2024, NEW YORK CITY–The National Music Council of the United States (NMC) has issued an educational, legislative-based statement outlining the general consensus views of the American music creators, copyright owners and educators that constitute its broad membership, concerning both the opportunities and the existential dangers posed by the rapid introduction of generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) systems throughout the U.S. and global music communities.

With billions of dollars and the future of American musical culture at stake, NMC states that it is seeking to provide the basis through the attached statement for a more informed and far-reaching dialogue among creators, copyright owners, business leaders, technologists, legislators, students, educators and members of the public regarding the need for measured legislative action and governmental oversight to ensure fairness and equity in the GenAI marketplace.

According to NMC Chair Charles J. Sanders, “GenAI has the capacity – using pre-existing copyrighted works to produce new derivatives – to enhance human musical expression and public enjoyment of the musical arts through fairness in voluntary licensing, or to cause long standing, crushing and potentially irreparable damage to musical creativity, commerce and culture.  Our goal is to support the best possible legislative outcomes for our organizational members and their constituencies, leading to ever-increasing advancement of human-centric musical excellence, progress, equity and cultural preservation around the world.”  NMC President Dr. James Weaver adds “the issues covered in the document include the general principles of consent, credit, fair compensation, disclosure, record keeping, and a necessarily narrow application of any exceptions to infringement, limited to only certain, non-commercial exemptions in the area of education.”

Dr. David Sanders, NMC’s Executive Director, expressed his hope that the statement will help facilitate rapid, legislative progress toward protecting the rights of creators, copyright administrators and educators through cooperative discussion. “Our paper is intended as an educational primer designed to demonstrate both support of our membership for AI technology in general, but insistence in the context of GenAI on respect for the legal rights of the creative community – and for the principles of diversity, equity and inclusiveness which our community considers very high priorities.”

NMC is the Congressionally-chartered, educational umbrella organization for the broad spectrum of US music community advocacy groups.  Founded in 1940, NMC’s membership is today comprised of almost fifty leading American trade organizations representing four distinct categories of music community interests: those of music creators; musical artists & performers; music copyright owners & administrators; and, music educators.  In all cases and on every issue, each member organization explicitly retains the authority to speak independently on its own behalf, regardless of whether the views it expresses differ from those of NMC and/or other NMC members.  Click here to read the GEN AI statement.  For more information on NMC, please visit musiccouncil.org.