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Is artificial intelligence taking over the music industry?

Developments in artificial intelligence (“AI”) has rapidly increased over the past few years, notably with the introduction of ChatGPT, which is a AI chatbot that allows you to have human-like conversations and much more. Most recently, AI companies have been using music tracks and their data to produce copycat versions of popular songs. This means, by way of example, under the technology the user could use Rihanna’s voice to sing Bad Habits by Ed Sheeran without the consent of the copyright holder. In light of that, there is concern within the music industry. Universal Music Group has sent letters to various streaming platforms including Spotify and Apple Music, expressing its concern about the AI developments. In the letter, Universal Music Group recommends that the streaming platforms block music downloads in an attempt to protect the rights of music artists. This news comes following Roc Nation’s recent success in a copyright infringement claim over the mimicking of Jay-Z’s voice through AI. The song in question was ultimately removed from YouTube. Not only can vocals be taken, new compositions can be produced. Additionally, the technology can alter aspects such as tempo, pitch and instruments. AI research labs reject copyright claims, believing they are safe under “fair use” exemptions. They contend a finished product can be classed as a “transformative work” and it does not compete with the artist’s original product. In the UK, copyrighted material can be used for AI research if it is for non-commercial use. With new developements in AI, it is important artists and streaming services are taking measures to protect their intellectual property. If you have any questions on the above, please do not hesitate to contact the team at McDaniels Law on 0191 281 4000 or legal@mcdanielslaw.com. Posted by: Megan Walker in: Copyright

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