ASCAP, The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, held a special Music City AI Symposium on Tuesday, November 7 at the Twelve Thirty Club to explore the topic of AI, what songwriters need to know about AI and how writers can use it to their advantage in the writers’ room. ASCAP Chairman of the Board and President Paul Williams, Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Matthews and Chief Digital and Strategy Officer Nick Lehman kicked off the morning with opening remarks on ASCAP’s dedication to protecting its members rights in the age of AI before the day moved into panel programming. “ASCAP has a long history of not only adapting to technological disruption, but helping our members thrive through it,” said Matthews.
The first panel, “Navigating AI: Evolving Legal and Policy Frameworks,” was moderated by Lehman and featured leading attorneys Kevin Madigan (Copyright Alliance), Emily Chapius (Deputy General Counsel for the US copyright office), Dan Schnapp (Sheppard Mullin), Anna Gressel (Paul, Weiss), and Warner Music Group Chief Digital Officer Carletta Higginson. The conversation delved into the complex legal implications of AI, protecting creators' rights, and the evolving landscape of copyright policies. They urged a proactive approach to protecting one’s work in the AI age.
“The big question we are looking at is authorship,” said Chapuis. “Does it have to be created by a human author or is it from machines? It needs to be created by a human, not just generated by an AI system. We are looking for enough human input, enough human creation.”