Google, Universal Music Group Reportedly Discussing Licensing for AI-Generated Songs

Google and Universal Music Group are reportedly exploring the idea of licensing artists’ voices and melodies for AI-generated music.

According to reports, the discussions could include talks about developing a legal tool for fans to create music via AI. However, unlike in the current unregulated system, this tool will pay copyright owners their share. The conversations are at quite an early stage, so any kind of launch is yet to be determined.

Several AI-generated tracks went viral earlier this year, with one of the most famous songs mimicking the voices of Drake and The Weeknd. “Heart On My Sleeve” was streamed 600,000 times on Spotify prior to its removal and was followed up by a statement from Universal Music Group. “The training of generative AI using our artists’ music (which represents both a breach of our agreements and a violation of copyright law) as well as the availability of infringing content created with generative AI on DSPs, 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,” a label spokesman said. “We’re encouraged by the engagement of our platform partners on these issues – as they recognize they need to be part of the solution.”

The label also initially called on streaming services to be more vigilant and take down AI-generated tracks. “We have a moral and commercial responsibility to our artists to work to prevent the unauthorized use of their music and to stop platforms from ingesting content that violates the rights of artists and other creators. We expect our platform partners will want to prevent their services from being used in ways that harm artists,” Universal Music said.

Elsewhere in music, Tory Lanez has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for shooting at Megan Thee Stallion.
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