Landmark Proposals in the US Seek to Empower Artists in AI-Generated Content Protection

Both the US House of Representatives and the state of Tennessee have put forward proposals that aim to grant individuals control over their likeness and voice within the realm of artificial intelligence (AI). This development has garnered widespread support from various organizations within the music industry.

Among the vocal supporters is the Human Artistry Campaign, whose Senior Advisor, Dr. Moiya McTier, emphasized the significance of safeguarding the distinctive and fundamental aspects of an individual’s identity. Dr. McTier asserted, “The most unique and foundational aspects of any person’s individuality should never be misappropriated or used without consent.” The introduced legislative proposals are seen as a substantial stride toward safeguarding people, culture, and art.

The surge in discussions surrounding the use of generative AI to produce voice clones has sparked concerns within the artistic community. While copyright provides some level of protection, uncertainties linger regarding the copyright obligations of AI companies, particularly considering that many artists may not own the copyright to their music. This has brought attention to the importance of publicity or personality rights.

Advocates argue that such rights should empower artists to govern, and potentially monetize, the utilization of their voice and likeness. However, the specifics of publicity rights and the protection they afford vary globally and even within the United States, where different states may have different regulations.