April 18, 2023

The Legal and Ethical Implications of AI-Generated Music

We are living through a pivotal moment in human existence. AI has already begun to disrupt almost every industry in our workforce, and is now doing things we never thought possible. For example, an AI generated song that claimed to be by Drake & The Weeknd shot into the stratosphere of virality and has caused quite an uproar on both sides of the AI divide.. We’ll get to that later. In this post, we will be discussing the legal and ethical considerations surrounding the recent use of AI technology to create music that sounds like popular artists. While AI-generated music has the potential to revolutionize the music industry, it has also sparked a debate about the legal and ethical implications of using AI models trained on celebrity voices to create music that the celebrity did not actually produce.

One of the key concerns surrounding AI-generated music is the use of a celebrity's voice or likeness without their consent. In the past, there have been several high-profile legal cases related to voice impersonation and infringement that have set important precedents for the use of an artist's voice in commercial contexts.

For instance, in 1988, Bette Midler won a lawsuit against Ford for hiring one of her backing singers to impersonate her vocal delivery on her own song "Do You Want to Dance" after she refused. The case established that an artist has the right to control how their voice is used, even in cases where they may have previously recorded a song.

In 1992, Tom Waits won a case with Frito-Lay for their impersonation of him in a Doritos commercial. This case established that certain stylistic aspects of a person's voice can be considered unique and therefore protected under intellectual property laws.

Another recent example is the AI-generated song that sounds like Drake and The Weeknd. While this song had no association with either artist, it went viral with many people thinking it was actually them. This raises important questions about the ethical and legal implications of using an artist's voice or style without their consent, especially as AI technology continues to improve.

These cases demonstrate that the use of someone's voice, even in cases where it may not be an exact copy of an existing song, can raise serious legal and ethical concerns.

In addition to the legal implications of using celebrity voices without their consent, there are also broader ethical considerations when it comes to the use of AI technology in music production. For instance, there is concern that the widespread use of AI-generated music could make it more difficult for real artists to make a living.

On the other hand, some argue that AI-generated music has the potential to democratize music production and create a virtually unlimited supply of music based on existing works. Additionally, AI-generated music can help up-and-coming artists who may not have access to traditional recording studios.

As a responsible tech company, we at StemPort believe that it is important to balance innovation with ethical responsibility. While AI-generated music has the potential to revolutionize the music industry, we must ensure that we do not infringe on the rights of artists or celebrities in the process. We believe that transparency and collaboration between AI developers, musicians, and legal professionals is key to ensuring that this technology is used in a responsible and ethical manner.

In conclusion, the use of AI technology to create music that sounds like popular artists raises important legal and ethical questions. As AI developers and music industry professionals, we have a responsibility to consider the implications of this technology and to use it in a way that respects the rights of artists and celebrities. We look forward to continuing this important conversation and finding ways to use AI-generated music to benefit the music industry while respecting the rights of all involved.