October 2023: Google is reportedly working on an AI-powered tool that can generate music in the voices of famous musicians.
Google very likely cleared this with all of the record labels they have deals with to sell music on the app store.
The tool is still in development, but it has the potential to revolutionise the music industry.
As Alphabet, YouTube’s parent company, doubles down on generative AI, the future of AI voice replication hangs in the balance. Will creators soon craft hits in the style of Elton John or Jocelyn Brown without legal repercussions? Only time will tell if this ambitious project can harmonise innovation with respect for artistic integrity.
The tool works by analysing the vocal recordings of famous musicians and then creating a new voice that is similar but unique. The AI can also generate music in the style of a particular artist.
Imagine being able to produce tracks in the voice of iconic artists, all thanks to artificial intelligence. This isn’t just a fantasy; it’s a project that YouTube is actively pursuing.
The concept is simple yet revolutionary: the tool would allow users to clone the voices of renowned musicians for their audio recordings. However, it’s not just about mimicking voices. YouTube is seeking the rights to use actual songs from music catalogs as training material for its AI. This move has sparked conversations with music companies, though no agreements have been finalised.
This initiative didn’t come out of the blue. YouTube has been keen on integrating AI into its platform, offering features like AI-generated backgrounds and content suggestions for creators. The voice cloning tool was meant to be part of this innovative suite, but it hit a snag due to rights-related complexities.
The music industry hasn’t been shy about its reservations. The rise of AI-generated music tracks, especially those mimicking famous artists, has been met with criticism. High-profile musicians are rallying for protective measures against unauthorised replication of their voices. The legal landscape remains murky, with questions about copyright infringements and ownership rights over AI-generated content that mirrors an artist’s unique sound.
Despite these challenges, the tech industry’s interest in AI-generated music is unwavering. Several big players, including Meta and Google, have launched their versions of music creation tools. YouTube positions itself as an ally, promising to help navigate the intricacies of this new technology. But will this be enough to avoid a legal minefield?
Google's AI Music Tool Can Generate Music in the Voices of Famous Musicians, But Is It Legal?
It is unclear whether or not the music generated by the tool would be protected by copyright. If it is not protected by copyright, then anyone could use the tool to generate music in the voices of famous musicians without permission.
This could have a significant impact on the music industry, as it would make it much easier for people to create unauthorised covers and remixes.
Speculation on copyright issues
The copyright implications of the YouTube AI music tool are complex and uncertain. It is unclear whether or not the music generated by the tool would be considered a copyright-protected work.
If the music is considered a copyright-protected work, then the copyright holder would have the exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, perform, display and create derivative works of the music in the UK. This would mean that only the copyright holder could legally utilise the AI tool to generate music mimicking a particular artist’s style.
However, if the music is not deemed a copyright-protected work, then anyone in Britain could potentially use the AI tool to generate music imitating famous musicians without requiring permission. This could have a major impact on the British music industry, as it would greatly simplify the creation of unauthorised covers and remixes.
It is also plausible that the copyright implications of the AI music tool will vary based on how it is utilised. For instance, if the tool is used to generate a wholly new song in the style of a specific artist, the copyright holder may be able to claim copyright protection for the new song under British law. However, if the tool is used to generate a short cover or remix of an existing song, the copyright holder may not be able to claim copyright in the new derivative work.
Ultimately, the copyright implications of the AI music tool in the UK will need to be decided by British courts. However, it is evident that the technology has the potential to significantly affect the British music industry. The legal uncertainties surrounding AI-generated music will likely spur complex lawsuits and debates as copyright law struggles to keep pace with emerging technologies.