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AI-Generated Music and Regulation: Over 200 Artists Unite To Protect Their Rights

Since the advent of AI, the music industry has evolved significantly, with sophisticated tools being introduced on a weekly basis to assist & guide artists in writing, producing and shaping their music. However, this is not always well-received, especially when it concerns the use of AI to learn & recreate an artist’s voice in new contexts; also known as a “deepfake”.


The arrival of deepfakes has completely disrupted the industry, highlighting key problems regarding artistic integrity and copyright management, made even more difficult by the inefficacy of detection systems on streaming platforms. In this article, we will delve into the nature of AI-generated music, exploring the reasons why many artists have wanted to make their voices heard and control their rights moving forward.


Billie Eilish
Credit: Pitchfork

The Risks Of AI-Generated Music For The Industry

Although the increasing integration of AI into the music industry opens up new creative possibilities, it also raises complex questions regarding intellectual property and copyright. Traditionally, copyright laws have been designed to protect works created by humans, but the emergence of music generated entirely by algorithms challenges these established norms. The arrival of deepfakes has worsened - raising questions around how an AI “trains” by analyzing copyrighted material - and is arguably the perfect example to illustrate this evolution and the resulting difficulties.


Although fascinating and entertaining at first glance, such a technological advance raises significant ethical and legal questions, with artists being faced by a new form of threat to their reputation and credibility. Not only can these "deepfakes" be used for malicious impostures or manipulations, but they also question the notion of artistic control and intellectual property. An artist's voice is much more than just a tool for interpreting songs; it is the very expression of their artistic identity.


Global Steps Towards Generative AI Regulation

In early April, over 200 international artists, including Billie Eilish, Stevie Wonder, and many others, shared their thoughts on the increasing popularity of AI and deepfakes, in a letter calling for protection against the predatory use of AI. Published by the Artist Rights Alliance, the letter urges AI creators not to develop tools capable of infringing upon the work of human authors and composers. With artists increasingly worried about AI's capability to mimic their voices precisely, AI-generated music raises concerns about potential misuse of artists' voices, which could damage their reputation.


In this broader context, legislative changes have begun to surface. The state of Tennessee recently enacted the "Elvis Law," marking the first American legislation designed to safeguard artists against deepfakes. This law, which will come into effect on July 1st, prohibits the reproduction of artists' voices without their consent, marking a crucial step towards protecting artists' rights and preserving the integrity of music in the digital age.


However, there is still much to be done. More comprehensive legislation is needed to effectively regulate the use of AI in the music industry, and while discussions are underway in the U.S. Congress, nothing final is yet to have been signed.


On the technological side, an increasing number of defensive solutions are emerging, harnessing AI in a defensive capacity to detect and flag harmful deepfakes. These tools - such as CoverNet by MatchTune - provide artists with comprehensive security, allowing them to protect their artistic integrity and continue to evolve their art while embracing technology.


Conclusion

Protecting artists from deep fakes is not only about the sustainability of the music industry, but also about respecting the fundamental rights of creators. As technology continues to advance, and the integration of AI in the music industry opens up exciting prospects for artists, producers, and listeners, it is essential that this transition occurs smoothly. 


It is therefore essential to establish a robust regulatory framework that protects the rights of creators, ensures data confidentiality, and encourages ethical use of technology. By collaborating, governments, businesses, and artistic communities can create an environment conducive to the development of AI, while preserving the integrity and diversity of music.


Learn more about CoverNet here.

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