European Publishers Call on Committee To Approve AI Act

In Feature Articles by Porter Anderson

‘To help set a global standard in AI regulation,’ FEP’s statement says, Europe’s AI Act needs permanent-representative committee approval.

Image – Getty iStockphoto: Yucely Ilmaz

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

See also: Academic Publishing: The Netherlands’ Wolters Kluwer adds ‘NEJM AI’

‘A Vital Piece of Legislation’
As Publishing Perspectives readers know, the European Union’s “AI Act” was approved in December, and a vote is set for Friday (February 2) in the EU’s “Coreper” meeting. The Coreper is the permanent representatives committee (from the French, Comité des représentants permanents).

The Federation of European Publishers in Brussels today (February 1) has issued a statement on behalf of creators and rights holders, calling on “member-states of the European Union to show global leadership and approve the AI Act” at tomorrow’s meeting.

If approved in the Coreper session, the act will then go to a vote in the EU parliament in June.

In its message today, the federation says:

“The AI Act is a vital piece of legislation that will regulate the role of AI in Europe and help set a global standard for how we expect AI systems to operate. Europe has a unique opportunity to show global leadership in the AI framework, for the benefit of EU citizens, creators, rights holders, industry, and the wider economy.

“Following the recent rapid emergence of popular generative AI tools, the text agreed upon by the trilogue negotiators proposes light-touch obligations for ‘General Purpose AI Models.’

“These obligations represent a minimum basis to build on efforts to enable European creators and rights holders to ensure their rights are being respected and that authorization is sought for the use of their content.

“Doing so would foster an environment in which rights and commercial freedoms are respected by simultaneously fostering the licensing of creative content to AI models—kickstarting partnership and innovation opportunities.

“The introduction of such obligations with respect to generative AI is not only the right thing to do but would position the EU to help set a global standard in AI regulation. It would also be an essential enabler for the creation of value in AI and a platform for future development and innovation in the EU.”

The statement is accompanied by a graphic displaying the logos of various federation members, which include publishers, publishers’ associations, and related agencies.

In describing its representation for this statement, the federation writes, “We represent a broad coalition of more than 200 organizations in Europe’s creative and cultural sectors, encompassing authors from multiple sectors including music, visual, audiovisual, and literary; book and press publishers of newspapers, magazines and specialized publications, music, scientific and technical publishers; recorded music, film and audiovisual producers; publishers of films and audiovisual content online and offline; distributors and photo agencies.

More from Publishing Perspectives on artificial intelligence is here, more on the European Union is here, more on the Federation of European Publishers is here, and more on the publishing markets and their issues in Europe is here.
About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.