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Report recommends support for creatives as AI use grows

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PER Images/Stocksy United

The Culture, Media and Sport (CMS) Select Committee has published a report on connected technology and the creative industries.

The report follows the CMS inquiry Connected Tech: Smart or Sinister? (January 2023) and explores the impact of the development of AI on the creative industries.

The report looks at the UK Government’s proposals for regulation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the round, before focusing on the implications of the proposed copyright exception for text and data mining (TDM), which the report concludes, “risks reducing arts and cultural production as mere ‘inputs’ in AI development.”

The TDM copyright exception – which was reversed earlier in 2023 following consultation with the creative industries - would have allowed AI platforms to scrape images and other creative works online without permission or payment, including for commercial use.

The Committee recommends that the UK Government should: support the continuation of a strong copyright regime in the UK, be clear that licences are required to use copyrighted content in AI, and act to ensure that creators are well rewarded in the copyright regime.

Copyright gives artists a say over how their work is used and fair pay for that use. But as AI image generators have developed, artists’ works have been used to train AI models without their consent or fair payment. DACS has been engaging with the Intellectual Property Office on preserving existing copyright laws and calls on Government to ensure AI developers are transparent about what data their models are trained on. It is vital that we have mechanisms in place to allow artists to properly consent and be fairly paid for the use of their work, and we welcome working with the Government to put these solutions in place.

Reema Selhi
DACS’ Head of Policy and International