Skip to main content

DACS evidence contributes to government not proceeding with AI copyright proposals.

Person with VR Headset and handsets
New Art Exchange, Nottingham, UK, 2020 © Shezad Dawood. All rights reserved, DACS/Artimage 2022. Image courtesy of New Art Exchange. Photo: Reece Straw

DACS provided comprehensive evidence and briefings that have contributed to the UK Government not introducing proposals for a new text and data mining exception.

At a Parliamentary debate on Wednesday 1st February 2023, MPs urged the Government to scrap the controversial plans granting artificial intelligence (AI) platforms an all-encompassing exception to copyright, asking instead to work with creative industry leaders to strike a balance between promoting innovation within AI and supporting creativity in the UK.

During the debate, the Minister for Science, Research and Innovation, George Freeman MP, said that the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) had listened to the industry’s concerns, and that the Government would not be proceeding with the current proposals, seeking instead to reopen consultations with DACS and other organisations in the copyright community.

The debate followed months of objection by the copyright and creative industries warning of the detrimental impact the proposals could have on UK creators. The suggested exception would have allowed AI platforms to scrape images and other creative works online without permission or payment, including for commercial use, with no legal protection for artists or creators wanting to protect their works or being remunerated for the use of their work.

DACS had highlighted that such a far-reaching exception was ill-advised and that there was no substantial evidence for the need of such a strong measure, arguing that the UK has an opportunity to adjust copyright laws by adapting licensing frameworks and models that exist in other contexts in the UK and internationally.

DACS has been deeply concerned about the Government’s proposals. Our submissions to consultations and briefings for debates have highlighted the detrimental impact the exception could have on artists’ rights and have offered alternative routes to supporting AI industries. We welcome the Government’s announcement and will continue to work with the Intellectual Property Office and copyright community to find solutions to AI advancements that do not undermine artists’ rights and their ability to earn from their creative works.

Christian Zimmermann

DACS’ submission for the 2022 IPO consultation on Artificial Intelligence and Intellectual Property can be found here.

DACS’ consultation submission for the House of Lords Communications and Digital Select Committee inquiry  A Creative Future can be read here, the published report can be accessed here.

A transcript of the debate can be read here.