Nouvelles / News


(This Press release was originally published in French)

For immediate release

MONTREAL, DECEMBER 5, 2023 – As part of the Federal Government’s consultation on generative artificial intelligence in the specific context of copyright, five professional associations representing nearly 20,000 Quebec artists call for caution, and transparency, and ask for a protective legislative framework.

ARRQ, ARTISTI, GMMQ, SARTEC, and UDA are actively participating in the consultation led by the Government of Canada, emphasizing that numerous consultations surrounding a revision of the Copyright Act have been conducted since 2017, and they now expect tangible outcomes.

Today, the associations press the alarm button about the major risks that the development of AI could pose without appropriate oversight, emphasizing the importance of improving the protection of artists’ work.

They acknowledge from the outset that AI will become essential in many fields and an extraordinary tool for research, data mining, and content generation. However, they stress that artificial intelligence is and must remain a tool trained by humans.

We urge Ministers François-Philippe Champagne and Pascale St-Onge to continue their review of the Copyright Act while respecting this fundamental principle: effectively protect the rights and work of creators. In this regard, no new exception should be created to allow AI operators to bypass existing rights.


Artificial intelligence does not work without training. In the cultural sphere, to feed and enable its final use, which involves activities like text and data mining, the machine needs to be "fed" with existing content. In other words, original works written, produced, or performed by artists must be used—works often protected by copyright. This protection must be maintained, AI or not.

It is essential that each artist can give their consent or refuse the use of their work as raw material for training artificial intelligence. In case of usage, fair and equitable compensation must be provided.

The use of generative AI impacts performing artists in a specific way, beyond copyright, as reproducing their performances often means replicating their voice and image. Deep fakes also greatly concern them, as they can make it seem like an artist said or did something they didn't. Measures are needed to ensure that the consent of performing artists is obtained before any use of their performances, voice, image, or likeness.


It seems inconceivable to us that new content generated by well-trained artificial intelligence could benefit from the status of works protected by the Copyright Act. We wish for an amendment to the law to emphasize that an author, in this legislative framework, must be a human being. There is no work without a human.

Do we need to remind, for a democracy like ours, of the fundamental importance of ensuring the good vitality of the cultural sector? In the absence of a clearly established protective framework, it is easy to imagine the possible abuses of these technologies and their owners and their impacts on, on the one hand, the work of our artists, and on the other hand, the creative industries.