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Teosto publishes instructions for registering music produced with the help of artificial intelligence


Teosto has published new instructions concerning the registration of music produced with the help of artificial intelligence. The guidelines are based on common principles that have been drawn up together with the other Nordic countries, as well as the Core Principles for Artificial Intelligence Applications signed by Teosto.

The aim of the instructions is to provide Teosto’s 40,000 music author members with guidelines for situations where artificial intelligence has been part of the music creation process. The instructions define the conditions under which music can be registered and under which royalties can be paid for music produced with the help of AI.

Last year, Teosto signed the international Core Principles for Artificial Intelligence Applications, to which hundreds of organisations around the world are committed. The principles emphasise that copyright fundamentally protects and rewards human creativity.

Artificial intelligence can be used as a tool in the creative process

The starting point of Teosto’s new instructions is that, according to the law, only the results of human creativity can be protected by copyright. This means that a composition or lyrics generated solely by AI cannot be registered as a protected new work. However, Teosto recognises that many music authors are already using AI as part of their creative process. According to Teosto’s survey last year, about a third of music authors have used AI in some way in their work.

If AI has been used as a technical tool in the creative process, the resulting work can be registered as the author’s own work to Teosto as usual. However, registration requires that the people involved in creating the work have made a significant contribution to the creation of the work. The author is responsible for ensuring that sufficient free and creative choices have been made in the work.

The person submitting the work notification is also responsible for ensuring that the work does not infringe the rights of any third party. Teosto encourages its members to carefully read the terms and conditions of the services they use, as some of the services may, for example, reserve the rights to works created using the service. Currently, it’s also very difficult for users to know whether copyrighted works by other authors have been used as training material for the AI service.

A work made by using AI can also be registered to Teosto if a single component (e.g. composition or lyrics) of it has been generated solely by AI. In this case, however, the AI-generated component cannot be protected as a new part of the work. Instead, it must be registered as a public domain component. The AI-generated component also cannot be published, translated or arranged.

There is a great need for international regulations and guidelines

Teosto’s Board of Directors discussed the new registration policy at its meeting on 12 June 2024. The instructions follow the common registration principles agreed with the Nordic copyright societies STIM (Sweden), Koda (Denmark), TONO (Norway) and STEF (Iceland). These principles are the first step towards a harmonised approach to AI-augmented music.  Teosto’s Nordic partner organisations have also published their own corresponding instructions.

The Nordic countries have also taken the matter forward within the global umbrella organisation for copyright societies, CISAC, in order to bring about more harmonised practices.

“Creative work or the use of digital platforms does not respect international borders. It would, therefore, be highly desirable to have international rules for AI-augmented music as soon as possible,” says Jenni Kyntölä, Teosto’s General Counsel.

Read the instructions on the Teosto website.

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