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The IAA Europe and European visual artists’ organisations are currently paying particular attention to the following phenomena:

  • IAA Europe welcomes European Parliament’s AI Act amendments 
  • The Development of Artificial Intelligence and EU Legislation on it
  • Fair pay for Artists

IAA Europe welcomes European Parliament’s AI Act amendments 

The International Association of Art (IAA) Europe welcomes the amendments adopted by the European Parliament on June 14, 2023, regarding the proposal for the European AI Act. 

IAA Europe supports the obligations imposed on providers of foundation models, as proposed by the European Parliament, due to the significant risks associated with foundation models in the context of generative AI. 

In particular, IAA Europe endorses the European Parliament’s proposal that, when foundation models are utilized in generative AI systems, the provider must document and make publicly available a sufficiently detailed summary of the use of training data protected under copyright law. 

The European Parliament has also proposed a clarification stating that the AI Act is without prejudice to Union law on copyright and related rights. This clarification is of utmost importance to visual artists represented by IAA Europe. The collection and use of content for generative AI development must be authorized by the authors, and fair remuneration must be provided for the use of such content. 

Furthermore, IAA Europe supports the European Parliament’s proposals regarding transparency obligations for AI systems. IAA Europe considers it vital that the EP’s proposal to label content generated by AI in a manner that distinguishes it from human-generated content is adopted. Additionally, the EP’s proposal to mandate the labelling of deep fake content is seen as essential. 

IAA Europe hopes that during the negotiations on the AI regulation proposal, liability issues related to AI system providers, particularly concerning harmful content generated by generative AI, will be thoroughly addressed. 

Lastly, IAA Europe emphasizes the importance of a significant portion of generative AI development occurring within the EU in the future. Adequate infrastructure should be made available within the EU, ensuring self-sufficiency in terms of security and cultural significance. 

IAA Europe’s comment on European AI Act (pdf)

Amendments adopted by the European Parliament (link)

Artificial Intelligence

The EU needs to amend the European Artificial Intelligence Act 

IAA Europe calls for the EU to regulate the use of generative AI throughout the production and consumption chain. The chain begins with the collection of data and ends with citizens consuming content that is created using artificial intelligence. The EU must pay particular attention to how the ‘engine room’ of AI applications entering the market works. Here, ‘engine room’ refers to the foundation models on which the learning ability of various generative applications is based. 

There is also a risk that concerns artists and other content creators that applications that use generative AI will absorb all human-generated digital or digitised material and will be able to churn out an unlimited number of adaptations and versions from the material. And since there are no direct quotes in the products made by artificial intelligence, its outputs are not governed by the current copyright legislation. Unless we significantly change the way we interpret the law. 

If this is the case, the market and the earning potential may be almost exclusively in the hands of those operators who have access to the most efficient data harvesting methods and the most powerful AI applications. 

It is no coincidence that man-made content is not referred to as raw material in generative AI parlance, but as training material. This gives the impression that AI does not actually take in or copy anything man-made but is only interested in watching what it does and uses it for training, a bit like a singer who listens to someone else singing in order to learn how to sing. This impression is misleading. 

Generative artificial intelligence differs from other types of AI in that it actually is able to generate new outputs. It does not just compile statistics, classify and perform user-defined calculations, but it also independently creates new texts or other types of content on the basis of the data given to it. 

It can use everything published on the internet — and any other digital content available to it — as raw material that it can absorb in virtually unlimited quantities. 

What harm could this do? Well, if things go wrong, our world will be filled with fake texts, images, videos and chatbots generated by artificial intelligence, and we will no longer be able to tell these from real news, documentary material, speeches made by real people — or even from real people. 

We may find ourselves in a situation in the future where people will not pay for any content, whether created by humans or artificial intelligence; we’ll only pay for the use of content-generating applications instead. This could mean, for example, that large streaming services that dominate the market would not pay song makers even the pittance they do now but would start distributing robotic music produced by their own AI applications, customised for each group of listeners. More information on IAA Europe’s President Teemu Mäki’s essay AI is coming – Who is ready? 

IAA Europe supports the statement by Author’s Rights Initiative, a consortium of 42 German creative industries organisations, where they call on the EU to update its legislation on AI:  Authors and Performers Call for Safeguards Around Generative AI in the European AI Act (19/4/2023).

Author’s Rights Initiative proposes the following amendments to the AI Act: 

  • Generative AI must be regulated across the entire product cycle, with particular focus on providers of foundation models (large language models and other large foundation models). 
  • The placing of such foundation models on European markets should be conditioned on providers demonstrating that they fulfil the following minimum requirements: 
  • full transparency about the training material used; 
  • sufficient resilience of the training material in terms of veracity, accuracy, objectivity and diversity, in particular documentation that an adequate share of the training material originates from European sources or originates from professional sources, as compared to user-generated or illegal content; 
  • evidence of a legal basis for the collection and use of the training material, both for personal data (under the GDPR) and non-personal data (under European Copyright Law); including on the adoption, implementation, and adherence to an effective and workable system for granular machine-readable communication of usage rights; 
  •  liability for all content generated and disseminated by the AI, in particular for infringement of personal rights and copyrights, misinformation or discrimination; 
  • no algorithmic or other promotion of AI-generated content over human-generated content or defamation of the latter, and reasonable measures to prevent users’ overreliance on AI content;  
  • structural separation of generation of dissemination of AI output: providers of foundation model shall not simultaneously operate central platform services for the distribution of digital content as defined in the Digital Markets Act, in particular no search engines or social media; 
  • a minimum of continental compute infrastructure: the minimum share of the inference of generative AI systems should run on computing infrastructure located in Europe, with the share of domestic data processing increasing over time 

Fair pay for Artists 

Exhibition payment, a remuneration for visual artists for presenting their works to the public, is an important topic in many European countries, advocated by artists’ associations and IAA Europe. Visual artists are still rarely paid for presenting their works in exhibitions or events, but change is coming.

The IAA Europe and its national committees have worked hard to improve the livelihoods of visual artists at art exhibitions. Artists from different countries have shared and disseminated information about their own practices. In many places progress has already been made, and several countries have introduced models whereby artists are compensated for their work in museum exhibitions.

Working to strengthen working conditions for artists and to ensure fair compensation is one of the main objectives of our strategy. 

We want:

  • Visual artists to receive fair remuneration for exhibiting their work in publicly funded exhibition spaces (with a corresponding increase in budgets to publicly-funded exhibiting institutions). 
  • Structural change in how the museums and equivalent exhibition spaces are run and how they spend their budgets. Artists should have more say in what is exhibited and artists should be paid better for their work in and for the museums.ii 
  • Fair remuneration to mean both an Exhibition Participation Fee as compensation to visual artists for the work and administration invested in creating content for exhibitions, as well as an Exhibition Rights Remuneration for the display of artworks in the artist’s possession, while the artist is not able to dispose of the artwork during the exhibition period – be it through copyright or soft law agreements. 

In 2021, IAA Europe, in cooperation with the Finnish Artists’ Association and a-n The Artist Information Company, organised the symposium “Fair Pay for Artists: Exhibition Payment Symposium”.