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  • Writer's picturejames allen

Any Chance We Stop Using the Term 'Artists' Colloquially?

Updated: Aug 24, 2023

Simple Semantics w/ James, asking for a friend.

Language precision is more important than ever in our industry's constantly evolving landscape. It's a matter of clarity and respect. It's a matter of reality. It's what could wreck our transition from "Web 2" to "Web 3." It's partially to blame for the retroactive regulations imposed from Web whatever to Web whatever. There are better ways to transition into a new era.

I've recently observed increased use of "artists" as a catch-all for various roles, from songwriters and performers to producers and even AI-generated music. The terminology could prove dangerous to "retail" social media users.

One case that illustrates this complexity is that of recording artist Grimes. As a singer, songwriter, and producer, Grimes exemplifies the multi-faceted nature of being an 'artist' in the music industry. Her roles come with unique contributions, creative inputs, and intellectual property rights. Her ability to transition seamlessly between these roles does not diminish their significance but instead emphasizes the diversity and complexity within the term "artist."

Then again, she told her fans she'd split royalties for AI-generated music using her voice. What royalties is she referring to? Will this be another Spotify fight with publishers over Mechanical Royalties? Will this turn into regulation by enforcement or litigation by lobbyists?

When we include AI-generated music in this umbrella term, we risk blurring the lines of copyright and intellectual property rights. AI, while a remarkable tool for creating music, does not hold copyrights, nor can it claim royalties or ownership. We must clearly define its role in the creative process to avoid legal confusion and protect human contributors' rights.

In light of the increasing integration of AI in our industry, it's paramount that we maintain clear distinctions between the different roles and the intellectual property rights associated with them. By using precise and respectful language, we can better navigate the complexities of our industry and protect the integrity of music IP as we continue to explore the possibilities that technology brings.

Whether or not copyright law makes sense today is irrelevant in this context. We have to embrace the [R]Evolution. Riding into the wild west, guns blazing will not be productive.

Thanks in advance!


A friend of the Author



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