A big reason that the AI hype machine has been in overdrive, issuing apocalyptic claims about its vast power, is that the companies selling the tools want to make it all feel inevitable — to feel like the future — and have you believe that resisting it is both futile and stupid. Conveniently, most of these discussions eschew questions such as: Whose future? Whose future does AI really serve?
The answer to that is “Big Tech” and, to a lesser degree, “your boss.”
Matt Nicholas, a 30-year-old writer and WGA member, who was all too aware exactly how AI was going to be used by the film and television industry — not to replace writers, but to undermine them.
Too many executives in too many industries, such as entertainment, tech and journalism, recognize generative AI for what it is: an opportunity to wield leverage over already precarious workforces. There’s going to be a long, hard struggle, but it’s one worth fighting.
I don’t have music in any of these libraries, so this is not about Envato specifically, it applies to all of them.
I would suggest to opt-out even though I am very well aware that of course it will not stop these type. of companies (or any for that matter) from implementing AI-driven content and catalogs.
But we don’t have to make it too easy for them.
“Composers/musicians using the website @AudioJungle by @envato to sell royalty free music – Envato have ‘updated’ – their T&C’s to **now have AI train on your items that you have authored and uploaded** You are opted in AUTOMATICALLY. Additionally, your items will now be licensed “in perpetuity” becuase an AI cannot ‘forget’ what it has learned. There is no mention of any profit share for authors from AI works derived from authors’ compositions. If you don’t want your items to be trained by AI, you need to remove them from the marketplace by June 1st. There is (currently) no opt-out available. While I appreciate AI is inevitable and some people will be embracing this, the immediacy with which @envato has gone about it while seemingly going against some of their core values is striking. I can’t believe they didn’t give authors a choice, and have only given 20 days notice to find an alternative. For those who might be dependent on income from the site, it puts them in a massive quandary, especially with the lack of time to find an alternate solution. It’s frankly shameful behavior. I’ve had an author account there since 2009 – which I will now remove. It kept me afloat during my early years in the industry. I also reviewed items on the site. This policy change and sudden implementation is disgraceful, and I’m now sorry to have been associated with @audiojungle and @envato in any way.”
“When the Music Modernization Act became law, there was hope it signaled a new day of improved relations between digital music services and songwriters,” Israelite said in a statement. “That hope was snuffed out today when Spotify and Amazon decided to sue songwriters in a shameful attempt to cut their payments by nearly one-third. … No amount of insincere and hollow public relations gestures such as throwing parties or buying billboards of congratulations or naming songwriters ‘geniuses’ can hide the fact
Thomas Middelhoff – what a loser that guy was for BMG. And it also shows, that there was (and still is) just no appreciation or vision for digital content and digital culture in Germany.
What a shame.
Read the article, despite it’s sarcastic tone which I think could have been kept lower, it’s a good read.
“We hired a team, and we started acquiring properties for distribution, and just on the eve of watching our first release [hit the market], Thomas Middelhoff, who was then [head] of Bertelsmann, forced us to divest BMG Interactive – over my noisy objections,” says Zelnick.
We’re simply not going to get that back if we give people the option to perhaps, maybe pay some small amount to listen to all music ever recorded by anyone, anywhere, anywhen. Such a system may be good for whomever taking a cut off the top (such as Spotify), but it’s going to suck for anyone actually contributing products into the system.
And, look, while all of this shakes out, musicians and labels continue to pursue a strategy that caters to building relations on all these services. Some of them have great success stories with YouTube, with SoundCloud, with Spotify.
But maybe that’s the point. It seems to be the businesses in between that are non-functioning – or (in the case of futuristic blockchain propositions) just not ready for primetime.
Musicians and labels keep doing the hard work of making the music and fighting to get it heard. Yet investment and attention pours into the middleware between us and listeners – and that middleware really isn’t working terribly well.
“We were emerging from this bubble,” she told me, “and I realized, ‘I have this hit. This is going to be good! Nearly three million streams on Spotify!’ And then my check came, and it was for seventeen dollars and seventy-two cents. That’s when I was, like, ‘What the fuck?’ So I called Kay.”
Yes, Daniel Ek is a smart guy, getting very rich and I know there is a culture out there commending this.
I find it sad that it’s don on the back of the people who helped shaped almost everyones personalities in their formative years.
And yet, we’re talking about a day this year when new investors in Spotify will earn more than $100m, pretty much guaranteed, for doing nothing more than answering Daniel Ek’s call.
We’re also talking about a day where the major labels, who’ve taken somewhere between 15% and 20% in Spotify, get a ginormous one-hit windfall that looks almost impossible to attribute or audit to individual artists.