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US state passes law to protect musicians from AI voice clones

Tennessee has a burgeoning music industry supporting more than 61,617 jobs across the state, contributes $5.8 billion to our GDP, and fills over 4,500 music venues.

The US state of Tennessee has recently enacted a law titled Ensuring Likeness Voice and Image Security (ELVIS) Act, aimed at protecting the voice and likenesses of music industry professionals, singers, and performers from Artificial Intelligence (AI) voice cloning. The bill passed both houses of the state legislature with a complete majority and was signed into law by the Governor of the state on 21st March. The act replaces the Personal Rights Protection Act of 1984 and has the following key points: Specifies that individuals have exclusive rights to their likeness and voice during their lifetime and for 10 years after death, with provisions for termination. Using a person’s likeness such as voice, name, likeness, or photograph with authorization from the person for commercial purposes, including advertising or the solicitation of donations is liable for civil action. Similarly, the distribution or transmission of technology, software, or algorithms whose primary purpose is the production of an individual’s voice or likeness is also liable for civil action. Exemptions include fair use for news, public affairs, and sports broadcasts, as well as for comment, criticism, scholarship, satire, or parody. According to the Governor’s press release, Tennessee has a burgeoning music industry supporting more than 61,617 jobs across the state, contributes $5.8 billion to our GDP, and fills over 4,500 music venues. The act is intended to protect the commercial interests of the music industry from the impact of generative AI, especially voice cloning. The law received widespread support from music industry professionals. However,…

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