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DACS highlights the importance of protecting visual artists’ rights in the age of AI

A panel of people, sitting at a table, with the people in the middle holding a microphone and speaking
Christian Zimmermann at the International Authors Forum AGM speaking on AI, courtesy of Luke Alcott

Earlier this week, as part of an International Authors Forum panel discussion in New York, DACS CEO, Christian Zimmermann spoke about the importance of safeguarding artists’ livelihoods in the face of advancing AI technologies.

Christian Zimmermann took part in the panel ‘AI in Visual Arts: Challenges and Opportunities for Artists’ Remuneration in the Digital Age’, underlining the growing unease among UK artists about how unregulated AI could negatively impact their careers, future opportunities and copyright, and that the rapid development of the technology has created a skills shortage. He also spoke on the importance of how the UK’s intellectual property framework and enforcement mechanisms must ensure creators receive fair remuneration for the use of their works by AI companies.

DACS is calling on the UK government to introduce regulations on generative AI to protect the IP of visual artists and other creatives.

DACS’ 5 recommendations are:

  • Consent, control and compensation: AI models must comply with copyright law and artists must authorise the use of their works for AI training.
  • Transparency: AI models must be open about what data or artworks have been used for training.
  • Regulation: Government must establish safeguards and regulations that address use of personal data, misinformation and deepfakes.
  • International competitiveness: Government should adopt blanket licensing and levy schemes as a way to remunerate creators for the use of their work, like many other countries have done.
  • Incentivising human creativity: Government must improve pay and work for artists, and incentivise skills and training in AI for all ages.

The International Authors Forum (IAF) is a membership body for organisations representing authors all over the world. IAF, of which DACS is a member, provides a forum for discussion, debate and action for authors on a global scale. IAF has been formed as a permanent international platform to ensure that the voice of authors is heard among others with rights and interests in creators’ work, such as publishers and libraries, who already have globally representative bodies.

Read more about our recent report on Artificial Intelligence and its impact on visual artists’ careers and livelihoods