Meet Drake's AI Clone - Exploring the Legal Boundaries of AI-Generated Music

Artificial intelligence is changing the music industry, with AI-generated songs that mimic famous musicians gaining popularity. However, questions of copyright and intellectual property arise as major record labels argue infringement.

A Drake AI Clone

AI Music Revolution: Fame and Legal Challenges

TikTok has recently been flooded with clips of famous musicians covering other artists' songs, generated using artificial intelligence tools. College student Jered Chavez gained viral fame when his AI-generated video featuring Drake, Kendrick Lamar, and Ye (formerly Kanye West) singing an anime theme song collected more than 12 million views in a month. Chavez's videos haven't been removed from platforms yet, but the music industry is beginning to explore the legality of AI-generated music.

"It's easy to use copyright as a cudgel in this kind of circumstance to go after new creative content that you feel like crosses some kind of line, even if you don't have a really strong legal basis for it, because of how strong the copyright system is." - Nick Garcia, policy counsel at Public Knowledge.

Copyright Infringement: A Complex Argument

Copyright infringement claims have been used to remove AI-generated music, such as "Heart on My Sleeve," a somewhat convincing Drake and The Weeknd song. Universal Music Group (UMG) has accused AI companies of violating copyright law by training their models on artists' songs. However, the songs are not directly copying anything concretely protected by law. An artist's voice, style, or flow is generally not protected by copyright.

Advancements in AI voice technology make the issue more challenging. AI systems are creating new sounds that resemble target voices, and the portions of a recording used may be too small to constitute copyright infringement. The fight involving AI tools may shift toward reexamining the right of publicity laws within the next five to 10 years.

The Impact on Personal Identity

The problem of AI-generated music expands beyond copyright and into questions of personhood and identity. The right of publicity allows individuals to control how their name or likeness is used to make money. However, the right of publicity only exists at the state level in the US, and the available courses of action vary.

"Do we start taking things like the right to publicity and making them a federal law so that everybody within the United States has access to whatever tools we decided to bake into this?" - Meredith Rose, senior policy counsel for Public Knowledge.
AI-generated music waveforms

Potential Problems and Future Developments

Experts worry that AI voice clones will become a problem sooner rather than later, especially for average people experiencing issues like domestic abuse. Laws against sharing intimate images vary by state, and only a few have laws specifically addressing deepfake porn. Independent musicians will likely have to navigate voice clones on their own, with no standardized way to report unauthorized AI-generated material.

Despite the challenges and controversies, Chavez's own music has gained popularity since his AI-generated TikToks went viral. While he's not passionate about AI-generated music, he plans to continue creating it due to popular demand.

"So far, a lot of the responses are pretty positive, which I'm very happy about." - Jered Chavez.

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