Sony Music fiercely withdraws its music from all AI training

An “affirmative, public declaration.” That’s how Sony Music characterizes its statement, released yesterday, proclaiming the giant music company’s entire catalog off-limits to all AI training systems. “AI training” (sometimes called “scraping”) refers to copying online media into AI engines to produce informed answers to AI queries.

There is no nuance in Sony’s statement. The company “expressly prohibits and opts out of any text or data mining, web scraping or similar reproductions” of Sony Music content. That includes compositions, recordings, lyrics, videos, artwork, and data. The line is drawn against any purpose, but specifically “in relation to training, developing or commercializing any AI system.”

The declaration applies to existing and future music.

Sony takes care to endorse AI as a creative tool. “SMG has been embracing the potential for responsibly produced AI to be used as a creative tool, revolutionizing the ways songwriters and recording artists create music.” So — AI is good on the front end as a creative tool, but not behind the scenes when it comes to unsanctioned copying.

As a copyright protection struggle, this issue bears a resemblance to the file-sharing wars of the 1990s. In that controversy, music companies battled consumers who used unauthorized music download systems to acquire songs. Today, the fight is with fast-moving companies seeking to copy the entire internet to train AI-powered content searching.

Read the whole thing HERE.


Brad Hill