ELVIS Act protecting musicians’ voices “from the misuse of AI” signed into law in Tennessee

The law will officially go into effect 1 July.

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Elvis on stage. He is looking back over his shoulder and smiling, and is holding a guitar.

Image: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty

New protection for songwriters, singers and other music industry professionals against the misuse of their voice using AI has been signed into law in the state of Tennessee, USA.

The ELVIS Act, which stands for “Ensuring Likeness Voice and Image Security” was signed into law on Thursday 21 March by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee in Nashville. It will officially go into effect on 1 July.

As reported by Music Business Worldwide, the ELVIS Act is a first of its kind law to be introduced in the US and updates existing state rules to protect not only against the unauthorised use of someone’s likeness, but now also their voice. The bill was originally introduced in January to update Tennessee’s Protection of Personal Rights law.

The office of Governor Bill Lee shares in a press release that “while Tennessee’s existing law protects name, image and likeness, it doesn’t specifically address new, personalised generative AI cloning models and services that enable human impersonation and allow users to make unauthorised fake works in the image and voice of others”.

The statement explains,  “Artists and musicians at all levels are facing exploitation and the theft of their integrity, identity, and humanity. This threatens the future of Tennessee’s creators, the jobs that they support across the state and country, and the bonds between fans and their favourite bands.”

Dr. Moiya McTier, Human Artistry Campaign Senior Advisor says, “Fittingly named after one of the world’s most iconic voices, the ELVIS Act marks a history-defining moment – protecting us all from irresponsible and unethical AI. The Human Artistry Campaign applauds this strong, bipartisan effort to stop unauthorised AI-generated deep fakes and voice clones that steal essential parts of our individuality.”

Dr. McTier concludes, “The life’s work and irreplaceable contributions of the creative community to our culture deserve safeguards that allow AI technology to be used responsibly without violating anyone’s rights or appropriating their art.”

Find out more via the Human Artistry Campaign website.


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