Google and Universal Music in talks regarding AI ‘deepfake’ royalties

today09/08/2023 5

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Google and Universal Music Group (UMG) are confirmed to be in talks regarding licensing issues surrounding “deepfake” artificial intelligence music.

According to The Financial Times, the conversation’s aim is to create a “partnership between the two companies in which ‘deepfakes’ can be shared with royalties returning to the record label.”

To create this deal, the two companies would need to licence artists’ voices and songs which would allow people to use them to legally make AI tracks.

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Earlier this year, UMG called for streaming services to block AI companies from accessing music from its artists’ back catalogues.

In a statement according to Billboard, UMG outlined how it had become aware that certain AI services had been trained on music that is protected under copyright law, “without obtaining the required consents” from the song owners.

Discussions between the pair are reported to be in their early stages however there is a goal to develop a tool for fans to create AI music legitimately, and pay the owners of the copyrights for it with artists allowed to opt in or out.

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Warner Music is also claimed to be in talks with Google according to The Financial Times adding that Robert Kyncl, chief executive of the label told investors that “with the right framework in place”, AI could “enable fans to pay their heroes the ultimate compliment through a new level of user-driven content . . . including new cover versions and mash-ups”.

He added that artists should have a choice on whether to be involved. “There are some that may not like it, and that’s totally fine,” he said.

[Via: The Financial Times]

Becky Buckle is Mixmag’s Multimedia Editor, follow her on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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