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Hey Siri or preparing for life with artificial intelligence

Before I look into the distance in my view, let me take a brief look in the rear view mirror of 2022.

The year 2022 was the most successful year in terms of collections, we surpassed the CZK 1.45 billion. If I subtract the collections for the other collective administrators (INTERGRAM, DILIA, OOA-S and OAZA), we licensed the use of their musical works for CZK 1.22 billion to music authors and music publishers alone. Television broadcasting remains the strongest source of revenue for music authors, with CZK 304.6 million in collections and a 25.31% share of total collections. After the pandemic, revenues from digital platforms came in second with a total of CZK 178.5 million and a share of 14.83%. Just to illustrate, these receipts were still less than CZK 52 million in 2019. With this trend, OSA confirms its affiliation with Western European economies. Special thanks thus go to the entire team involved in successful negotiations with the major digital platforms and the processing of reports from these platforms. We are one of the few copyright organisations in Europe that license multinational digital platforms and process their reports of used music from virtually all subscribers worldwide, using our own in-house capabilities. Together with HDS (Croatia) and ZAIKS (Poland), we are the only ones in Central and Eastern Europe.

And now a look at the horizons ahead.

Back in 1919 we were founded with the ambition to create an economically stable environment and help build a music market where composers, songwriters and music publishers receive a fair return from those who listen to and use music for their business. Only when royalties reach the creators themselves can we talk about a healthy music ecosystem. Working copyright protection will not only benefit today's authors and consumers of copyright works, but is an essential foundation for future music creation.

These foundations should be kept in mind especially by the legislators, who rather weakened the rights of authors and artists with the last amendment to the Copyright Act. The Chamber of Deputies has overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the law prepared by the Pirates and co-signed by the KDU-ČSL, which is unprecedented in Europe and goes against the principles of intellectual property protection guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Berne Convention and the very sources of European law. A number of senators have expressed their opposition to the text of the law, but in view of the time pressure the Czech Republic has been under to implement the European directives, the Senate has not adopted any position on the bill, i.e. it has neither approved it nor rejected it. The Pirates also brushed aside the spines of the bill, which were intended to strengthen the position of authors and artists vis-à-vis digital platforms and repositories. In their efforts, the Pirates have systematically weakened the position of the domestic music scene in favour of multinational corporations and the importation of foreign music, which enjoys well-deserved support in their home countries.

Even so, at OSA we are constantly thinking about further modernisation of our systems and services. We build our corporate culture on the foundations of a free environment and the principles of trust. We believe that the good side of humanity prevails in most people. In doing so, we also place a great deal of personal responsibility on each individual. We strive to put our employees at the heart of the organization so that they feel even more motivated and positively connected to the OSA brand. We believe that a free society is a more creative and idea-rich society, and that the whole company will benefit as a result, not including the authors and music publishers, of which OSA represents over 3.5 million worldwide.

I am convinced that we are building a sound foundation for OSA's corporate culture that will help us live in synergy with AI and reap the benefits it undoubtedly brings. I'm a big fan of artificial intelligence or let's say tools and technologies that can communicate and create images or even music with the help of humans. I'm talking about tools like ChatGPT or Midjourney. It is fascinating and frightening at the same time what these systems can already do in a very immature form. Some will argue that man has always been able to use great inventions against man himself, whether it be dynamite or nuclear power. Yet even these inventions have brought many times more benefit.

Today, the phrase "artificial intelligence" has completely taken over the media space. Speculation is rife about what jobs will disappear. It is no longer so much emphasised that this technology can replace often tedious and endlessly repetitive tasks or queries. People who work in such positions will gain an amazing tool that will allow them to pursue activities they enjoy. Not to mention the opportunities to bring quality and, where possible, efficient healthcare to remote locations. We should not resist artificial intelligence, or even fear it a priori, but we should learn to work and cooperate with it effectively. After all, it has been creeping into our lives little by little for many years. I am of the opinion that we need to be well prepared and knowledgeable for life with artificial intelligence. And I believe that we at OSA are doing everything we can to make the most of the positives that this technology brings and to eliminate its negatives. There will certainly be a need to sensitively regulate the use of AI technologies through the law. Hopefully, legislators will be more far-sighted than they were and are in the Internet environment.

Artificial intelligence and its tools will certainly permeate the space of music creation. It is likely that we will be overwhelmed by various attempts to create music based on a simple brief, just as Midjourney, for example, creates images. We may be in for a literal tsunami of such "would-be music" without the authorial input of a human being. People will literally be overwhelmed by a cluster of different sounds. But I personally think that this will be a crucial moment for the eruption that will bring to the surface again music in its pure form, music full of life, the catharsis of the human soul, in short, music created with a significant contribution of the human being. I am not worried about music written by man, it will always find its dignified place and its listeners. Perhaps it will be music that imprints the human soul and mind on the artificial one in a sustainable symbiosis. New technologies, in conjunction with the human soul and emotion, may offer an even more colourful world and a new dimension to original music creation. And we at OSA will be ready to offer composers, lyricists and music publishers a modern service for the 21st century.