The Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee has published the UK government’s response to its August 2023 report, “Connected tech: AI and creative technology”. The Committee had considered the impact of connected tech on the creative and entertainment industries as well as the UK’s proposed regulation of AI.
The key points in the Government’s response are set out below.
Text and Data Mining (TDM)
The response confirms that the Government is no longer proceeding with its original proposal for a broad copyright exception for TDM and reiterates its intention to publish a code of practice on copyright and AI in early 2024. It adds that a more detailed response to the Committee’s recommendations will come with the Government’s response to the AI Regulation white paper and the publication of the Cultural Education Plan, which will be provided in due course.
Impact of AI on the creative industries
The Government says that it is acutely aware of the concerns of media and creative industries sectors in this respect. It says that it is vitally important that AI-generated content does not supplant the work of musicians, filmmakers and journalists. Therefore, the concerns of these sectors, particularly in the relationship between intellectual property and generative AI, and the potential implications for human creativity, are a key element of the Government’s broader work on AI-related policy.
It is working with stakeholders to understand the impact AI has on broadcasters, publishers and creative businesses. This includes through the Creative Industries Council, which has an Intellectual Property Working Group. It is working on a code of practice on copyright and AI. The outcome is due to be published in early 2024.
The Government is supporting opportunities to enable the adoption and diffusion of AI in the creative industries through the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology’s £100 million BridgeAI programme, which identified them as a priority sector. BridgeAI seeks to increase people’s skills in using AI, work with experts in applying AI across the sector and provide small scale funding to adopt AI into their business model.
Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances
The Government has committed to implementing and ratifying the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances. The Treaty provides intellectual property rights for the audiovisual performances. These include performances given by actors, musicians, dancers and other performers that are incorporated in films, television programmes and other audiovisual recordings.
The Treaty does not include specific provisions for audiovisual performers to protect their rights against, for example, ‘deepfakes’ as may be generated by AI. However, implementing the Treaty includes providing audiovisual performers with moral rights for their live performances and performances in audiovisual fixations. These are the rights for the performer to:
- claim to be identified as the performer, except where omission is dictated by the manner of the use (“the attribution right” and
- object to any distortion, mutilation or other modification of their performance that would be prejudicial to their honour or reputation, taking due account of the nature of audiovisual productions (“the integrity right”). This right applies to modifications that are objectively prejudicial to the performer’s reputation in a substantial way.
The Intellectual Property Office consulted in 2023 on options for implementation. The consultation included draft legislation for comment closed on 9 November. Once the agreed legislation is in place, the Treaty is due to come into force in the latter half of 2024.