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You may have heard pop sensation Drake and The Weeknd’s new song on social media last weekend.
The song “Heart on My Sleeve,” about The Weeknd’s ex-girlfriend Selena Gomez, went viral. 20 million views on Twitterand 11 million views on TikTok.
There was only one problem. None were real.
song Created by an anonymous TikTok musician named Ghostwriter977 using an AI-generated replica of the artist’s voice.
Universal Music Group (UMG) was not amused. The publisher had all music streaming platforms pull deepfake tracks on Monday. Today it has been removed from YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, Amazon, SoundCloud, Tidal and Deezer.
In a statement, UMG said using generative AI in an artist’s music was “a breach of contract and a violation of copyright law.”
Music publishers have a legal and ethical responsibility to prevent the use of their services in a way that harms artists.
Related: A Guide to Artificial Intelligence for Future Founders
Legal and Ethical Issues Raised
Using AI to replicate an artist’s vocals infringes on their IP, but it’s unclear if Fake Drake’s songs violate copyright laws because the songs are original.
Edward Klaris, media attorney at Klaris Law, said: told NBC News“Here we are using all the existing songs to create a new song.”
He said, “The Supreme Court may rule that it is not copyright infringement because it is transformative…or it could say something else. For example, ‘This is copyright infringement’ You can’t copy people’s songs and create new ones…just like that.”
Song lawmakers aside, UMG questioned the ethics of those who create and consume songs like “Heart on My Sleeve.”
“The question arises as to which side of history all stakeholders in the music ecosystem want to be on: the side of the artist, the fan, the creative expression of man, or the deep falsity, fraud and denial of just compensation to the artist. It’s on the side of the .”