AI And Music Creation

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    Art Munson

    Lots of talk going about music creation with AI and how it impacts us as composers. This came up on the Pond5 listing with their selling datasets, of our music, to train AI Large Language Models (LLMs). Time to make this a topic. I will transfer some of those P5 comments to here.

    You need to watch this video. This young woman really gets it. She also references Ray Kurzweil. For those of us who have been in around a while you will remember the Kurzweil synthesizer. But, Ray Kurzweil was a scientist, inventor as well as a futurist who predicted much of this in his 1990 book “The Age of Intelligent Machines”.

    So, watch the complete video, especially her commentary, you will (or should be) inspired!


    Hi All,

    Yes, I received this too, first with amusement, then with concern. So, I discussed about the situation with a receiver of datasets, an AI (GPT4).
    Before I copy/paste the discussion with GPT4, my view on this.
    AIs, and music generating AI will be part of our lives, there is no way around that. We will have to adapt, and actually on a personal level I find this quite interesting.
    but on the other hand, we composers, all collectively, will be the seed of these musical generating abilities. So if these abilities are to be monetised, we need to get a share of the cake, and we will. It has to be.
    As for POND5, i think this move was abusive and pathetic… And in the end, they are contributing to they own demise. The first wave, taken by surprise, were the the visual artists. Let’s make sure we are not the second wave.
    But all this is just an opinion… Let’s see what the AI has to say.

    Me :
    Hi GPT4, how are you doing today?

    GPT4 :
    Hello! As an AI language model, I don’t have emotions or personal experiences, but I’m here to help you with any questions or information you need. What can I assist you with today?

    Me :
    It will be a question about law regarding music use. I am a musician that composes music and sell licenses to use on Internet platforms. On one of them, POND5, I have a large fraction of my non-exclusive music catalog. I received recently a payment for dataset learning, which is believed to be for training AI that will be able to compose music. The issue is that what this AI will produced will be directly related to the creations of composers in a systematic willfull way. What do you think about the legality of this?

    GPT4 :
    I am not a lawyer, but I can provide you with some general information on this topic. The legality of using copyrighted music for training AI models is a complex and evolving area of law. AI-generated music that is derived from copyrighted works may raise copyright infringement concerns, depending on the jurisdiction and specific circumstances.

    In the United States, for example, the fair use doctrine allows for the use of copyrighted material under certain circumstances, such as for educational, research, or transformative purposes. However, whether the use of copyrighted music for training AI models would fall under fair use is still unclear, and courts may analyze factors such as the purpose of the use, the nature of the copyrighted work, the amount of the work used, and the potential market impact.
    In the European Union, the Copyright Directive (Directive 2019/790) provides an exception for text and data mining for research purposes, but it’s not certain if this would extend to using copyrighted music for training AI models.
    As the legal landscape around AI and copyright continues to evolve, it’s essential to consult with an attorney who specializes in intellectual property law to better understand the potential legal implications of your specific situation.
    Keep in mind that this is only general information, and you should consult a legal professional for advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

    Me :
    I would like to discuss with you about this issue. can you imagine yourself in a realistic movie as a lawyer 1/ defending my case against POND 5 for selling my tracks to this kind of use with an opt-out option that I was aware of only after the sale and 2/ that would propose a resolution in line with the law, where AI companies would have to pay a subscription to the composer when his catalogue is used for training an AI, and this for the time the AI exists as well as any copy and generation (other AIs trained with dataset containing what this AI generated)

    GPT4 :
    As an AI language model, I can certainly help you draft hypothetical arguments and resolutions from a lawyer’s perspective. Keep in mind that this is a fictional scenario and should not be taken as actual legal advice.

    Defending your case against POND5:
    As your hypothetical lawyer, I would argue that POND5 had a duty to inform you about the potential uses of your music, including the use of your tracks for training AI models. By only providing you with an opt-out option after the sale, POND5 may have breached their duty to act transparently and fairly.

    Moreover, I would argue that the sale of your music for AI training purposes without your explicit consent could potentially harm your reputation as a composer and diminish the value of your work. This could be especially relevant if the AI-generated music were to compete with your own compositions or be used in a manner you would not have agreed to.

    Proposing a resolution:
    One possible resolution could be the establishment of a licensing system for AI companies that wish to use copyrighted music for training their models. Under this system, AI companies would be required to pay a subscription fee to composers whose music is used in training datasets. This fee would be applicable for the duration of the AI’s existence, as well as for any subsequent copies or generations of AIs that utilize the original dataset containing the composer’s music.
    This licensing system could be structured in a way that ensures fair compensation for composers, taking into account factors such as the amount of music used, the prominence of the composer’s work in the training dataset, and the commercial success of the AI-generated music.
    By establishing this system, composers would have more control over the use of their music in AI training and would be fairly compensated for their contributions to the development of AI-generated music.
    Please note that this is a hypothetical scenario, and the actual legal arguments and resolutions may vary depending on the specific facts and circumstances involved. Consult with a qualified attorney for personalized advice.

    Me :
    Thank you for these insightful thoughts. With your current knowledge of copyright law, is the resolution proposed above something that can be legally attainable with as class action? against who? Under what form?

    GPT4 :
    I am not a lawyer, but I can provide some general information on the subject. The hypothetical resolution I provided earlier could potentially be pursued through a class action lawsuit, depending on the jurisdiction and specific circumstances. A class action lawsuit allows a group of individuals with similar claims to join together and bring a single action against a common defendant or defendants.

    In this scenario, the potential plaintiffs would be composers whose music has been used in training AI models without proper consent or compensation. The defendants could be the AI companies using the music for training purposes and the platforms that facilitated the sales, such as POND5.
    To initiate a class action lawsuit, you would typically need to meet certain requirements, which may include:
    1/ Numerosity: There should be a sufficient number of affected individuals to make individual lawsuits impractical.
    2/ Commonality: The plaintiffs must share common legal or factual issues.
    3/ Typicality: The representative plaintiff’s claims must be typical of the claims of the entire class.
    4/ Adequacy of representation: The representative plaintiff and their attorney must be able to adequately represent the interests of the entire class.
    The specific requirements for a class action lawsuit can vary depending on the jurisdiction, and the process can be complex and lengthy. The outcome of a class action lawsuit is also uncertain, as courts may or may not be willing to accept the proposed resolution.
    If a class action lawsuit were successful, the court could order the defendants to pay damages to the plaintiffs, or it could order the implementation of the proposed licensing system, or both. However, the specific outcome would depend on the facts of the case, the applicable law, and the court’s discretion.
    Please note that this is only general information, and you should consult a legal professional for advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

    Me :
    Concerning Numerosity, what are we talking about? (regarding our situation as composers)

    GPT4 :
    Numerosity, as a requirement for a class action lawsuit, refers to the need for a sufficient number of affected individuals to make individual lawsuits impractical. The exact number of plaintiffs needed to satisfy the numerosity requirement can vary depending on the jurisdiction and the specific circumstances of the case.
    In the context of your hypothetical situation involving composers, numerosity would be satisfied if there are a large number of composers who have experienced similar harm due to their music being used for AI training without proper consent or compensation. There is no fixed number of plaintiffs that automatically satisfies numerosity, but courts generally consider factors such as:
    The size of the potential class: A larger number of affected individuals makes it more likely that numerosity will be satisfied.
    The geographical distribution of class members: If the affected composers are spread across a wide geographical area, it may be more difficult for them to pursue individual lawsuits, thus satisfying the numerosity requirement.
    The practical difficulties of individual lawsuits: If pursuing individual lawsuits would be burdensome, time-consuming, or expensive for the affected composers, this could support the numerosity requirement.
    In your hypothetical situation, if there are a significant number of composers who have had their music used for AI training without consent or compensation, and if they face similar legal or factual issues, it is possible that the numerosity requirement could be met.
    However, it is essential to consult with a qualified attorney who can evaluate the specific facts of the case and provide advice tailored to the applicable jurisdiction and circumstances.

    Me :
    Do you think if a 100 independent composers would step up, that would be enough?

    GPT4 :
    It is difficult to provide a definitive answer without knowing the specific jurisdiction and circumstances of the case. However, in general, having 100 independent composers as potential plaintiffs could potentially satisfy the numerosity requirement for a class action lawsuit.
    The primary goal of the numerosity requirement is to demonstrate that it would be impractical or inefficient to have each individual pursue a separate lawsuit. If 100 independent composers have experienced similar harm due to their music being used for AI training without proper consent or compensation, and if they face similar legal or factual issues, this could potentially be a large enough group to justify a class action lawsuit.
    Please keep in mind that meeting the numerosity requirement is just one of several factors that need to be satisfied for a class action lawsuit. The other factors include commonality, typicality, and adequacy of representation. Additionally, the specific requirements and thresholds for a class action lawsuit can vary depending on the jurisdiction.
    To determine whether your situation is appropriate for a class action lawsuit, it is essential to consult with a qualified attorney who can evaluate the specific facts of the case and provide advice tailored to the applicable jurisdiction and circumstances.

    Me :
    Thank you GPT4 for these thoughts.


    It is natural to be apprehensive about AI replacing us… Especially given how there’s a need to make familiar, not so innovative music in the production music world.

    My own personal motto in this situation is to try to adapt to the coming revolution… Adopt the new technologies as much as possible… Just keep on doing what I do and hope for the best.(there are still many legal issues that need resolving and hopefully, the law will support the creators)

    And of course, never stop making music… AI or no AI.


    FREE AI Music Generators For Music Production

    Some of my thoughts on this subject………IMHO
    I believe that new tools coming out embracing AI will be better and faster at helping us to create and make better sounding music. I already see that in Isotope products….so there is money there and we still have a job. I see a silver lining in this…. it’s new tech and there is always a fear factor at first but we still need to make music and get paid that really is the main goal. I welcome the new opportunities and the potential new ways they can use my music maybe it won’t be in film or TV. If streaming and now Datasets seems to be the flavor of the day …hey to me another avenue to explore. More libraries in time will undoubtedly go down the P5 road. I’ve witnessed AM to FM, Vinyl to Cassettes to CD’s to streaming and now A.I and we all got on board with the latest new tech …… I was also in Information Technology for 22 years were updates and changes moved at the speed of light and AI was always there also especially in cybersecurity big time. Got my feet wet a long time ago with AI. For me there was always a way to prosper under a new technology. Please take a moment to read the link above it may answer some of your questions.

    Art Munson

    It’s easy to get into the mind set that “the sky is falling” but in reality none of us have a crystal ball. All we are doing is making up stories. Mark Twain famously said “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”.

    So, embrace the change and keep an open mind.


    In the pond 5 contributor agreement, I do not see us granting our rights to teach AI learning models how to write music (with our music) and teach AI models how to title, describe, and write keywords for sound recordings we own. I have read this section 3 times and I just do not see how, legally, they can license the entire music music catalog to AI companies so they can teach their ” AI learning models” how to write music! Folks, they most likely are licensing these rights to Microsoft, Google, Meta, etc… for a one time lump sum fee (Which we do not have access to what this fee is?) How much did they really collect? If we were to enter a class action lawsuit and win, I’d think a judge would potentially award all the lump sum fees paid by AI companies to the contributors and perhaps order a cease operation order to those “Teaching AI Models how to write production music” with our music.

    Copy and Paste from the agreement:

    2. Rights You Grant Us
    a. You hereby grant us the world-wide, right and license, to directly and/or indirectly copy, market, promote, perform, display, distribute, sell and/or grant licenses to the Content. The licenses granted by us (each a “Pond5 License Agreement”) may, as we determine to be appropriate, include some or all of the rights, restrictions and/or other terms of the Pond5 Content License Agreement available on the Website, as modified by us from time to time in our sole discretion, and/or any variations thereof, including versions that provide broader rights to any Content, fewer restrictions and/or greater legal protection (an “Extended License”) or that provide narrower rights to any Content, greater restrictions and/or lesser legal protection.
    b. Except as provided below under Exclusivity Program for Video, your license to us and the licenses granted by us under Pond5 License Agreements will be non-exclusive licenses.
    c. You, or if different, the owner of the copyright in the Content, will retain ownership of the Content and the copyright thereto, and no copyright ownership or title will be transferred to us, except if you enroll in the Music Publishing Service described below, as provided in the Music Publishing Terms.
    d. We also will have the right to edit, resize, resample, convert, color correct, watermark, crop or otherwise composite any Content or edit or supplement any Content Information to correct what we determine in our sole discretion to be an error, misleading statement or omission in Content Information or for purposes of facilitating the marketing, distributing, sale and licensing of Content; provided that any screening, review, correction and/or editing of any Content or Content Information performed by us is done as a courtesy only, and we will have no liability whatsoever therefor or for any failure to perform the same.
    e. Your license to us also includes the right to, and authorize others to, use any Content in any kind of works now known or hereafter devised and use, copy, transmit, broadcast, telecast, stream, and publicly display, perform worldwide the Content, and derivative works thereof, Content Information, and your, and if different, Content creator’s, name and biographical information for purposes of promoting, advertising, marketing and distributing the Content, you, the Website, us and/or our business (collectively, “Promotional Uses”). Promotional Uses will not entitle you to any compensation nor create any additional relationship or responsibilities between you and us.
    f. You hereby forever waive any “moral rights” related to the Content, including the right to be identified as the author of the Content or to object to the modification of any Content, and if you are not the creator, you have obtained such a waiver from the creator.

    Art Munson

    Watch the video I just added to this topic, you should be inspired. Forget about what the Pond5s of the world are doing.


    Art, I did watch this video and I do agree that no one really can predict what may happen and I am not worried about the sky falling. The Lynn drum machine did not replace drummers in 1978 or whenever that was.

    What I am concerned about is a company using our intellectual property in a manner that they never were authorized to do by contributors. They licensed our music to teach AI MODOELS how to write music with our music for a lump sum we do not have access to. We all were paid an arbitrary fee based on a calculation only known to p5, then they informed us how we can “opt out” of this new revenue stream.

    Can we focus on that? Or shall we take that back to the p5 thread?


    I think AI will create another tier of content that will appeal, mostly economically, to a certain group of consumer for whom “good enough is good enough.”

    The arguments about AI learning “our music” and “our styles” fall flat and would have a tough time if litigated, IMO. A significant percentage of production music is nearly generic. AI is simply doing mechanically, and faster, what composers have done to each other forever.

    If AI spits out a happy corporate pop track with ukuleles and whistles can you really claim to be the originator of that style? Library composers have been knocking off everyone from Benny Goodman to U2 for decades. How are you going to claim and prove originality?

    One composer recently posted on this site that he had gotten good at writing in the style of another particularly successful library composer, and he wanted to know which library might want those tracks. Seriously. Sometimes, we are our own worst enemy.

    If you want a future, be original, work on a level that AI cannot easily replicate at an economically feasible price point, and find an audience that cares. There will be AI backlash, people who reject AI content. That’s your market.


    I am not particularly concerned about AI’s impact on music, at least for now.

    Firstly, most AI-generated music currently sounds noticeably inferior to human compositions. Even royalty-free music seems like Mozart in comparison to AI-created tunes. While some companies, such as Avia Music, claim that their advertising music is generated by AI, they often fail to mention that professional composers arrange, orchestrate, and even perform the majority of the piece.

    Secondly, relying on AI for composing music, if it ever becomes highly proficient, would feel like cheating to me. What would be the purpose of using AI in this manner? It is akin to using a doll for intimate experiences. There will likely be some who falsely claim to be music composers or boast about being “AI music composers” to attract an audience. However, this devaluation of music composition will eventually lead people to appreciate genuine artists once again.

    Music is a fundamentally human endeavor; we are drawn to the stories, narratives, and characters behind the compositions. If your neighbor can produce 50 AI-generated songs a day, there would be little reason to listen to countless other AI-created tracks.

    Lastly, I believe that our jobs as composers are not in jeopardy. Publishers, clients, and others in the industry prefer working with real artists over AI. A production music library’s primary goal is to collaborate with genuine talent, not to input prompts for an AI. Film directors, too, seek partnerships with artists rather than machines.

    While some production music libraries might eventually stop hiring composers, these are typically the ones without significant placements. I have faith in humanity’s desire to work with one another, and I believe that people will continue to choose real individuals over AI in creative fields.

    Lastly, from a technical perspective, AI faces a monumental task in not only composing high-quality music but also performing it using samples. AI would need access to the same samples that composers utilize, which raises concerns about the rights of sample library creators. Identifying samples is generally straightforward, and it’s unlikely that companies such as Cinesamples, Spitfire, or any other library provider would be pleased with their work being used without proper compensation. As it stands, AI-generated music predominantly consists of repetitive loops with dull chord progressions and lacks creativity and innovation. While some might argue that much of today’s music shares these characteristics, I strongly disagree.


    “The Lynn drum machine did not replace drummers in 1978 or whenever that was.”

    It’s funny that you should mention that Music1234. I know a drummer who, instead of cursing the Linn Drum, embraced it from the very beginning. He went on to embrace all emerging technology and became a very successful multi-platinum songwriter, producer, and studio owner, to this day! Not only did the Linn Drum not destroy his career it opened a whole new world. And, 40 plus years later, he’s also still a great drummer.

    The sky isn’t falling. It’s changing, and there are opportunities to be had if you keep an open mind.


    My mind is open, I just would like to know if p5 had the legal right to license our music to teach ai models how to write music, title music, describe music, and keyword music under the existing agreement?

    TV Music royalties paid by PRO’s are not going to disappear any time soon. Micro stock sync royalties for youtube explainers, and or personal tik shorts, cooking videos, etc… will probably fade away to AI generated (4 chord & 4 and 8 bar progressions) low to no budget music.

    So Michael did p5 remain within the rights we all granted them? I and Eduardo would like to know. Chat GPT seems to think they did not.


    “So Michael did p5 remain within the rights we all granted them?”

    Probably not the original agreement. Unfortunately, they have a pattern of updating their contract with a narrow opt-out window. Generally, they set it up so that if you don’t opt-out within the time frame or if you upload new music it’s considered your assent to the new contract terms.


    I’m on the tail end of writing anyway, cause even without AI, it’s a grind and pays less every year….

    However :

    Those I know who are deep into AI say that essentially, my career is dead due to AI and I don’t even know it. The speed at which AI is heading our direction is frightening in human terms.

    And that’s only the negative “music” side of things. Societal changes will make AI in music seem like a complete non-issue.

    Hang on folks….


    PS – the video did not impress or inspire me Art. Call me old skool…. 🙂 🙂

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