Home Blog The U.S. Senate Weighs New Legislation Protecting Artists From … – CelebrityAccess ENCORE

The U.S. Senate Weighs New Legislation Protecting Artists From … – CelebrityAccess ENCORE

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WASHINGTON D.C. (CelebrityAccess) — A bi-partisan group of U.S. Senators has released the draft of a proposed bill that would protect the voice and visual likeness of artists and content creators from being replicated by generative artificial intelligence (AI).
The proposed bill, the Nurture Originals, Foster Art, and Keep Entertainment Safe (NO FAKES) Act, was introduced in the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property by Chris Coons (D-Del.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.)
The No Fakes Act would bar the creation or distribution of an unauthorized AI-generated replica of an individual to perform in an audiovisual or sound recording without first obtaining the consent of the individual being replicated. The proposed legislation is in response to the creation of musical works such as “Heart on my Sleeve” a song written and produced by AI for TikTok that borrowed Canadian R&B icon Drake’s distinctive voice and performing style. The song, created with generative A.I. by TikTok user ghostwriter977, went viral earlier this year and quickly garnered millions of views across social media.
According to a prepared summary of the proposed legislation, the No Fakes Act would hold individuals or companies civilly liable for the creation of unauthorized digital performances. The legislation would also target platforms such as TikTok or YouTube responsible for distributing unauthorized digital replicas while providing for some exceptions based on First Amendment protections.
“Generative AI has opened doors to exciting new artistic possibilities, but it also presents unique challenges that make it easier than ever to use someone’s voice, image, or likeness without their consent,” said Senator Coons. “Creators around the nation are calling on Congress to lay out clear policies regulating the use and impact of generative AI, and Congress must strike the right balance to defend individual rights, abide by the First Amendment, and foster AI innovation and creativity. I am thankful for the bipartisan partnership of Senators Blackburn, Klobuchar, and Tillis as we work to protect all individuals from unauthorized replication and ensure that the United States sets clear rules governing the intersection of AI and intellectual property.”
Following the release of the draft legislation, the American Association of Independent Music’s CEO Richard James Burgess released a statement in support of the measure.
“The American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) is grateful that Senators Coons, Blackburn, Klobuchar, and Tillis have decided to tackle the very real problem of generative AI producing unauthorized songs that steal from the fruits of artists’ labor.
“Independent record labels and the artists they work with are excited about the promise of AI to transform how music is made and how consumers enjoy art, but there must be guardrails to ensure that artists can make a living and that labels can recoup their investments. Generative AI could be the next step in a downward spiral of devaluing music on the Internet that started with digital piracy and has continued with underpayment by streaming services and social media platforms. The time is now to do away with the state patchwork of laws on the rights of creators to fight against fakes, and we are committed to working with the Senators and all stakeholders to get this right.
“Our experience with the DMCA and other enforcement tools is that real enforcement can become elusive and prohibitively expensive for small creators. We will be laser-focused on making sure that any federal solutions on digital replicas are accessible to small labels and working-class musicians, not just the megastars.”
The RIAA also released a statement addressing the proposed measure: “Our industry has long embraced technology and innovation, including AI, but many of the recent generative AI models infringe on rights – essentially instruments of theft rather than constructive tools aiding human creativity. We applaud Senators Coons, Blackburn, Tillis, and Klobuchar for recognizing that unauthorized uses of one’s name, image, likeness, and voice are a clear threat to artists, songwriters, performers, authors, journalists, photographers, and the entire creative community. We look forward to engaging in a robust bipartisan process with a strong bill that effectively protects against this illegal and immoral misappropriation of fundamental rights that protect human achievement.”
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