April 16, 2024

An open letter from the Artists Rights Alliance and signed by more than 200 major figures in the music and entertainment industries is calling on AI companies and digital music service platforms to pledge that they won’t develop or use AI tools “that undermine or replace the human artistry of songwriters and artists or deny us fair compensation for our work.”

The letter, published Monday on Medium, featured a wide range of signatories including Billie Eilish and her brother Phineas, Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, R.E.M., the estates of Frank Sinatra and Bob Marley, Chuck D, Camila Cabello, J Balvin, Chuck D, Peter Frampton, Billy Porter, Jonas Brothers, Smoky Robinson, Imagine Dragons, Kate Hudson and more.

The letter calls on “AI developers, technology companies, platforms and digital music services to cease the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to infringe upon and devalue the rights of human artists.”

It adds: “Make no mistake: we believe that, when used responsibly, AI has enormous potential to advance human creativity and in a manner that enables the development and growth of new and exciting experiences for music fans everywhere.

“Unfortunately, some platforms and developers are employing AI to sabotage creativity and undermine artists, songwriters, musicians and rightsholders.”

The letter says it is seeking to “protect against the predatory use of AI to steal professional artists’ voices and likenesses, violate creators’ rights, and destroy the music ecosystem.”

Click to read the full letter and list of signatories.

Like in almost every facet of society, AI has become a major issue in the arts and entertainment industries. It was a main sticking point for both the Writers Guild and SAG-AFTRA in their respective strikes last year, resulting in seven months of industry upheaval before gains in those areas were made.

In the music business, AI has become a daily tool especially for independent artists who use it for writing, production and mastering. Grammy organization the Recording Academy in its rule for this past year’s awards placed restrictions on submissions using AI but did not exclude music or creators from working with it.

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