Google and Universal Music are currently engaged in discussions to negotiate a deal on licensing the voices and melodies of artists specifically for artificial intelligence-generated songs. The purpose of these negotiations is not only to protect copyright owners but also to develop a tool that would allow fans to create AI-generated songs with proper compensation for copyright owners. Artists will also have the option to participate in this process.
Although the talks are still in their early stages and there are no immediate plans for a product launch, the discussions have gained attention due to the increasing popularity of fans using AI programs to create deepfake music imitating artists’ voices and styles, often without their consent. Previous incidents involving AI-generated songs resembling popular artists, such as a track imitating Drake and the Weeknd’s voices, have faced copyright infringement issues. In fact, Universal Music Group had to remove one such track from streaming services to address the copyright violation.
The emergence of AI-generated music has led the music industry to grapple with the potential impact on intellectual property rights and artist protection. This latest move towards negotiating licensing deals between Google and Universal Music reflects a proactive approach to addressing these issues. For instance, Warner Music Group CEO, Robert Kyncl, emphasizes the importance of giving artists a choice when it comes to AI music, as an artist’s voice and creations are their livelihood.
According to intellectual property experts, AI-generated music that infringes on copyright is potentially easier to prevent and pursue legal action against if it can be demonstrated that the AI was trained using copyrighted material, and similarities in composition or lyrics can be clearly identified. This highlights the need for proper licensing arrangements and copyright protection mechanisms in the realm of AI-generated music.
As discussions continue, it remains to be seen how these negotiations will shape the future landscape of AI-generated music and its intersection with intellectual property rights. While these talks represent a step in the right direction for protecting artists and their creative works, additional developments and measures may be necessary to safeguard their interests in this evolving technological landscape.