YouTube is working on an AI feature that would allow users to create songs using the voices of famous musicians. However, the launch of this tool has been delayed due to ongoing discussions with record companies about the necessary rights. YouTube had originally planned to release the feature last month along with other AI-powered functions aimed at streamlining the creative process for users.
The AI music function on YouTube would give users the ability to recreate any song with their favorite musician's voice or create entirely new music replicating a singer. However, obtaining the rights to singers' voices has posed significant legal challenges for YouTube, particularly in terms of ownership and distribution of revenues. The company has not provided any comment on these issues.
This development raises important questions about the relationship between AI and the music industry. Alexander Ross, a music and copyright lawyer, has pointed out that creating AI covers with the intention of misleading people into thinking it's the real thing could be considered a passing-off claim and a violation of copyright laws. Major artists themselves have also expressed concerns about AI-generated cover versions using their voices.
Despite these concerns, some creators have chosen to embrace AI-assisted music production methods. Grimes, an electronic musician, has created an entire album using AI and has stated that she will split royalties with anyone who releases a song using an AI imitation of her voice. She has even created an open-source platform called Elf.Tech to produce AI vocals that sound like her voice.
In addition to YouTube, other platforms have also been grappling with the rise of AI-generated music. Spotify's CEO, Daniel Ek, recently announced that AI-generated music will not be banned on the platform, signaling the acceptance of this technology.
Meanwhile, three major music publishers have filed a lawsuit against AI platform Anthropic for using copyrighted lyrics to train its software. The resolution of these copyright issues will be crucial in shaping the future relationship between AI and the music industry.