Publishers Association welcomes Lords Committee AI report

A call for the government to take urgent action to support rightsholders in the face of mass infringement by Artificial Intelligence Large Language Models (LLMs) has been welcomed by the Publishers Association.

The recommendation forms part of a new report from the House of Lords Communications and Digital Committee published today which says government “cannot sit on its hands” while LLMs exploit the works of rightsholders for huge financial gain. The report criticises tech firms for using data without permission or compensation and encourages the government to end the copyright dispute “definitively” using legislation if necessary. It calls for greater transparency for rightsholders to see if their work has been used without consent and for investment in new datasets to encourage tech firms to pay for licensed content.

Dan Conway, CEO of the Publishers Association, said: “This report rightly recognises that the benefits of AI do not warrant the violation of copyright law and its underlying principles. As the Committee states, it is not fair for tech firms to use rightsholders’ content for huge financial gain without permission or compensation.  

“The Publishers Association welcomes the prominent call for the government to take action to support rightsholders. We gave evidence to the committee’s inquiry last year and it’s great to see their report backing many of our key arguments – that LLMs shouldn’t use copyright-protected works without permission or compensation, that there should be support for licensing, that there should be transparency, and that the government should legislate if necessary.

“Publishers have long embraced the benefits of AI in their work and share the committee’s ambition for a positive vision on AI, where the myriad opportunities are embraced but rightsholders and human creativity are respected, permissions are sought, and licensing is supported. This report is a call to action for government at a pivotal moment for the UK’s approach to AI.”