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Why Sony Music Group has sent ‘warning’ letters to 700 tech companies and music streaming services – Times of India



Sony Music Group (SMG) has reportedly sent letters to 700 technology companies that are developing AI tech and music streaming services warning them not to use the company’s content to train AI models without its explicit permission.

The letters – recipients of which have not been disclosed – have been sent in an effort to protect its intellectual property, including album cover art, metadata, musical compositions and lyrics, from being used for training AI models, a report by Bloomberg said.

The company said that the “unauthorised use” of Sony’s content in the “training, development or commercialisation of AI systems” deprives the company and its artists – which include Lil Nas X, Beyonce, Adele and Celine Dion – of control and compensation for those works.

What Sony Music Group has to say
SMG said that it is a passionate believer in the paramount value of human artistry.

“SMG has been embracing the potential for responsibly produced AI to be used as a creative tool, revolutionising the ways songwriters and recording artists create music. We support artists and songwriters taking the lead in embracing new technologies in support of their art. Evolutions in technology have frequently shifted the course of creative industries,” the company said in a statement.

According to the company, technological innovation must ensure that songwriters’ and recording artists’ rights, including copyrights, are respected.

For that reason, SMG’s affiliates, Sony Music Publishing (SMP) and Sony Music Entertainment (SME), on behalf of themselves and their wholly owned or controlled affiliates, are making this affirmative, public declaration confirming that, except as specifically and explicitly authorized by either SME or SMP, as the case may be, each of them expressly prohibits and opts out of any text or data mining, web scraping or similar reproductions, extractions or uses (“TDM”) of any SME and/or SMP content (including, without limitation, musical compositions, lyrics, audio recordings, audiovisual recordings, artwork, images, data, etc.) for any purposes, including in relation to training, developing or commercializing any AI system, and by any means, including by bots, scrapers or other automated processes, in each case to the full extent permitted by applicable law in all relevant jurisdictions.

The company has reportedly asked the recipients of the letters to provide details on which of SMG’s songs have been used to train AI systems, among other things. The recipients of the letters have been given a deadline to respond.
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