Sound-Alikes: Litigating the AI Mimic
Dani Deahl in The Verge:
The word “human” does not appear at all in US copyright law, and there’s not much existing litigation around the word’s absence. This has created a giant gray area and left AI’s place in copyright unclear. It also means the law doesn’t account for AI’s unique abilities, like its potential to work endlessly and mimic the sound of a specific artist. Depending on how legal decisions shake out, AI systems could become a valuable tool to assist creativity, a nuisance ripping off hard-working human musicians, or both. […]
If [an AI] system then makes music that sounds like Beyoncé, is Beyoncé owed anything? Several legal experts believe the answer is “no.” […] “There’s nothing legally requiring you to give her any profits from it unless you’re directly sampling,” [Public Knowledge policy counsel Meredith] Rose says. There’s room for debate, she says, over whether this is good for musicians. “I think courts and our general instinct would say, ‘Well, if an algorithm is only fed Beyoncé songs and the output is a piece of music, it’s a robot. It clearly couldn’t have added anything to this, and there’s nothing original there.’”
I’m not so sure. It could turn out that the controversial “Blurred Lines” ruling laid the groundwork for litigating AI-mimicry.