Music Publishers Canada

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Music Publishers Helping to Create, Promote and Protect Canadian Songs in Both Official Languages

Music Publishers Canada is a membership-based organization that ensures the views of music publishers working in Canada are heard. It is our mission to create business opportunities for our members and to promote their interests and those of their songwriting partners through advocacy, communication, and education.

Music publishers invest in thousands of Canadian songs and songwriters that are heard daily on the radio, on streaming services, in video games and in film, television and other screen-based productions around the world. At its heart, music publishing is about championing a song and its songwriter through the lifespan of its career and the song’s copyright.

AI Remains an Evolving Space, Government Should Avoid New Exceptions to Copyright

As a starting point, there is no set definition of artificial intelligence (AI), and its commercial applications can vary widely. We believe that Canada’s existing copyright law framework is sufficiently robust and flexible to adequately address issues raised by AI. We recognize, however, that the AI landscape is changing quickly, and we know that there may be a need to constantly monitor and review developments.

Our members embrace changes in technology and invest in innovation. We know that there are already uses of AI in the music space. The term AI could refer to machine learning used to analyze and predict the audiences for an artist’s music, to identify and target emerging artists, or the use of new automation tools in the studio to augment a human-mixed recording.

Because there are so many existing and potential future uses of various AI technologies, and because the field is diverse, complex, and continuing to evolve, the creation of new and fixed rules for AI—at least at this stage of AI’s development—seems premature.

Many questions surrounding ownership of works created using AI tools will likely be resolved by contract and licensing, so the market should be given time and freedom to create the appropriate contractual arrangements.

Policymakers should be cautious when listing to arguments to weaken copyright protections in the context of AI. It is important to preserve a copyright owners’ ability to address copyright infringement. This discussion on AI should not be allowed to serve as a way for infringers to avoid liability, and this review should not lead to a situation where copyright owners are not able to exercise their exclusive rights.

Based on what is now known about AI, there does not appear to be any immediate need to amend the Copyright Act to deal with AI systems and it is important that the use of AI technology not lead to further exceptions being added to the Copyright Act simply because an AI system is involved.

Conclusion

While AI has developed rapidly in recent decades, the technology remains in its infancy, and much is unknown about how it will evolve. We ask that the Government of Canada proceed cautiously when considering whether changes to the Copyright Act are necessary. MPC believes that no changes with regard to AI are needed at this time.

MPC appreciates this opportunity to provide our views in response to the consultation, and we look forward to providing further input and to working with the Government as it continues its consideration of these important issues.