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PLS Welcomes Lords Committee’s Large Language Model Report

Today (2 February), the House of Lords’ Communications and Digital Committee released its report into large language models (LLMs) to which Publishers’ Licensing Services (PLS) submitted written evidence.  

The report explores the technological development of LLMs and their future capabilities, and the UK government’s position and the progress there has been on the overall regulation of artificial intelligence. The report also covers issues surrounding copyright and the use of copyright protected content in the training of models and makes various recommendations for government. 

Regarding copyright, the report concludes that, despite LLMs offering immense value to society, the use of rightsholders’ content by tech firms without compensation and permission is unfair and that there is “compelling evidence” that the UK benefits economically, politically and societally from its “globally respected” copyright framework. The report also makes the following recommendations regarding copyright-related issues: 

  • In response to the report, the Government should publish its view on whether copyright law provides currently sufficient protections to rightsholders. 
  • If the process to create the IPO’s voluntary code of practice for the use of copyright protected materials in AI remains unresolved by Spring 2024 the Government must set out definitive next steps to resolve uncertainty for rightsholders, including potential legislative options.  
  • Developers should make it clear whether their web crawlers are being used to acquire data for generative AI training or for other purposes. 
  • The Government should encourage good practice by both working with licensing agencies and data repository owners to create expanded and high-quality data sources at the scales needed for LLM training and also use its procurement market.  
  • Within the voluntary code of practice, the IPO should include a mechanism for rightsholders to check training data.  


You can read the report here:  

You can read PLS’ submission here:  


Publishers’ Licensing Services’ Chief Executive, Tom West, said: 

“I welcome the Committee’s timely and expansive report and its support for rightsholders and the UK’s ‘gold standard’ copyright regime. 

PLS and many in the creative industries share the government’s ambition of making the UK an AI superpower and there are many innovative UK publishers already playing a vital role in that endeavour.  

Whilst PLS recognises the immense benefits that AI can bring, this cannot be at the expense of the UK’s world leading creative industries, nor the copyright framework that underpins the sector’s success.  

PLS firmly believes that a mix of direct and voluntary collective licensing offers the best solution for not only rightsholders but also content users too. The licensing market for AI should be allowed to evolve to meet market demand, continue to facilitate future technological progress, and help act as an incentive to human creativity.”