Universal Music Group Is Requesting Streaming Services To Block Access To AI Companies

Universal Music Group Is Requesting Streaming Services To Block Access To AI Companies

Honestly, it was bound to happen.

Universal Music Group, one of the three largest music companies in the world, is calling in favors from streaming services to block access to AI companies as social media explodes with songs that emulate known artists. The request would cover all copyrighted content as concerns grow around the possibility of bots being trained to make music.

“We have a moral and commercial responsibility to our artists to work to prevent the unauthorized use of their music and to stop platforms from ingesting content that violates the rights of artists and other creators,” a UMG spokesperson shared in a statement, per Financial Times. “We expect our platform partners will want to prevent their services from being used in ways that harm artists.”

AI-generated content has been heavily criticized as many creatives see their work duplicated without compensation and feel that the future implications could be far-reaching. Artists have started to make noise on their own behalf; most notably, Grammy-winner Drake shared his opinion after an AI-generated cover of Bronx newcomer Ice Spice’s “Munch” mimicked the Toronto-bred rapper’s cadence in an IG story saying, “This is the final straw AI.” Drake covers have been particularly popular on the social sharing app TikTok where his voice has been used on everything from the controversial Meg Thee Stallion and Cardi B track “WAP” to “OMG” by K-Pop band New Jeans, which has racked up 2.4 million views.

Alexander Ross, a veteran attorney and copyright lawyer, has spoken out about the legality of the songs. In a statement to Insider, Ross said, “You’ve stolen part of the recording and you’ve distributed it, communicated it with the public. There are all sorts of grounds for infringement proceedings there.” Conversations around public figures having their likeness duplicated in the form of “duping” was in the news last year as the internet saw AI-generated versions of their favorite celebrities being used to push everything from political ideologies to illicit behavior.

It seems that the battle between AI and the rest of us has only just begun.