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Sony Music Issues Warning to AI Companies Over Unauthorized Content Use

Sony Music has issued warnings to over 700 tech companies and streaming platforms, cautioning them against using its content without authorization. This move, reported by Bloomberg, highlights the label’s stance on protecting its assets from unauthorized use in AI systems, which it claims undermines control and compensation for its artists and the company.

Concerns Over Unauthorized AI Use

The letter specifically addresses concerns about the “training, development, or commercialization of AI systems” using copyrighted materials such as music, art, and lyrics. Notable artists represented by Sony Music include Billy Joel, Doja Cat, Celine Dion, and Lil Nas X.

Industry Vigilance on Copyright Protection

The music industry has been particularly vigilant in controlling the use of its copyrighted content in AI tools. For instance, on YouTube, AI-generated voice clones of musicians have prompted strict regulations, while the platform itself has introduced AI music tools like Dream Track, which can create songs in the style of specific artists based on text prompts.


TikTok and Music Copyright Battles

A prominent example of the ongoing battle over music copyright and AI occurred on TikTok. In February, Universal Music Group (UMG) pulled its entire roster from the platform after licensing negotiations fell through, silencing viral videos featuring artists like Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande. However, by April, Taylor Swift’s music quietly returned to TikTok ahead of her new album release, and by early May, UMG and TikTok had reached a new agreement. This deal included enhanced protections around AI and new monetization opportunities related to e-commerce.

Broader Implications of AI and Voice Clones

The controversy over AI-generated voice clones extends beyond copyright issues, raising questions about the control individuals have over their voices. AI companies often train models on extensive libraries of recordings without consent, allowing the public to generate new material. Addressing rights of publicity and likeness could be complex, given the varying state laws in the US.

Protecting Human Artistry

Sony Music’s proactive stance reflects the broader industry’s efforts to safeguard human artistry and ensure that the economic benefits flow to the rightful creators and performers.


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