With the removal of Heart On My Sleeve, a song that sounds like it was recorded by Drake and The Weeknd but actually incorporates the vocal talents of AI, the battle for ownership of the voices of major music artists has begun in earnest.
Even though the song’s removal hasn’t been explained, Drake and The Weeknd’s record label, Universal Music Group, has issued a statement condemning the use of artificial intelligence to create music that sounds like it was recorded by its artists.
According to a UMG spokesperson, “the availability of infringing content created with generative AI on DSPs, as well as the training of generative AI using our artists’ music (which represents both a breach of our agreements and a violation of copyright law), begs the question as to which side of history all stakeholders in the music ecosystem want to be on: the side of artists, fans, and human creative expression, or on the side of deep fakes, fraud, and denying artists their due compensation.” The fact that our platform partners are actively working to address these problems gives us hope.
What UMG urged streaming services?
The statement doesn’t explicitly say that UMG urged streaming services to pull Heart On My Sleeve, but it does imply that if a similar situation arose in the future, UMG would be willing to take action. As evidence, Ghostwriter said “This is just the beginning” in the YouTube description of the song.
Without a doubt, this is correct. We haven’t even begun to touch the surface of what this kind of technology is capable of, noted internet entrepreneur and influencer Roberto Nickson, who tweeted Kanye West-like AI-generated music.
He cautioned, “Remember, this is the worst that AI will ever be.” Every major artist will soon have several trained replicas of themselves.
And we know their attorneys are getting ready to go to work for them.