AI version of Tyla's song raises legal questions
A fake AI version of South African artist Tyla's song ‘Water’ is circulating on social media.
Last week, Tyla announced the release of her remix with rapper Travis Scott. Since then, a remix featuring vocals that appear to be Beyoncé’s has gone viral. Some of Beyoncé’s online fanbase recognised it was not her, while others were deceived.
In addition to the song release with the likeness of Beyoncé’s voice, vocals sounding like Drake's also feature on the fake remix, but there is no disclosure stating the original artists are not featured. Neither the original artists nor their representatives have commented.
Player1505, the music editor and producer, created this AI vocal version of ‘Water’. This development has opened discussions about where AI productions will stand legally, as music regulations for AI-generated songs are not yet in place. Questions arise about the future of music copyright with AI and the prospects for music made with Artificial Intelligence.
In an article from Semafor titled 'AI-generated music is going viral. But is it legal?', Marc Ostrow, a New York-based entertainment and copyright lawyer, explained that the issue of AI and music is defined by several open questions that will likely be resolved “by some combination of litigation and/or legislation.”
Key areas to watch include
Copyright infringement by AI music tools
The Recording Industry Association of America has expressed concern that AI platforms training their algorithms on existing songs infringe on the rights of artists who wrote and recorded them. However, Ostrow mentioned that owners of AI machinery could argue that this would be fair use. A 2015 ruling related to Google Books found that a copyrighted work can be used without violating the law if it is “transformed” sufficiently.
Legal implications of sound-alike songs
With AI's ability to replicate the voices of popular artists, there is potential for a surge in tracks claiming to be from real artists. Ostrow suggested that artists could sue the creators of these songs based on their “right to publicity,” which protects the likeness of celebrities. The legal framework varies by state, so the application of these laws could depend on specific circumstances.
Actions of streaming services
Streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube could face legal challenges as more AI-generated music is uploaded. While federal law protects these platforms from being held liable for copyright infringement solely because an illegal work is uploaded, they are required to remove such content upon request from the copyright holder. The industry is watching how these services respond to the increasing use of AI in music production.