Rapper Drake joins UMG’s fight against AI song covers


Rapper drake on top of an AI song cover

Popular rapper and musician Drake has spoken out about the ongoing trend of AI song covers. The rapper blasted the trend of taking musician’s voices and making new songs without permission.

In a now-deleted Instagram story, Drake argued against AI song covers. Using services such as ElevenLabs, anyone can now take a celebrity’s voice and make them say whatever they want.

Responding to a viral cover of Drake signing Ice Spice’s “Munch”, the singer wrote that this was “the final straw” on social media.

Alongside the likes of Kanye West, Drake’s vocals have been some of the most manipulated by artificial intelligence. The singer’s voice has been used to create song covers such as Cardi B’s WAP, New Jeans’ OMG and many more.

Drake’s deleted Instagram story fighting against AI song covers with text saying: “this is the final straw”
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Musicians are not the only ones who are pushing back against AI-generated songs. Universal Media Group, one of the world’s largest music publishers, has started to fight against AI services using the vocal’s of its signed musicians.

As AI users add more musicians to their repertoire of manipulated voices, including superstars such as Rihanna, publishers are fighting to protect their IP. In a recent move, UMG pleaded streaming services such as Spotify to ban all AI music from their platforms.

As it stands, lawyers believe that there is a large chance that AI-manipulated vocals could be banned. Using piracy laws as a base, the unlawful manipulation of vocals and backing tracks to create AI song covers could be blocked very soon.

“If they have pinched the instrumental, or part of, from the original Beyoncé recording, that's copyright infringement in a number of ways," music copyright lawyer Alexander Ross told Business Insider. "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."

AI song covers are not the only issue surrounding generated voices. Manipulated AI voices have been used in fake political videos including United States President Joe Biden. The technology has also been used to manipulate celebrity voices into spouting vile hate speech on far-right forums such as 4Chan.

This still isn’t the biggest issue surrounding the spread of AI voice tools. Recently, an AI kidnapping scam used voice clones of a teenage girl from social media clips in an attempt to gain $1 million from their family. The tech has also been used in AI swatting attacks against a number of American high schools.

While online videos using AI voices may be fleetingly entertaining, they are propulsion to a dangerous technology. Yes, we also enjoy the videos of Morrowind’s Dagoth-Ur spouting nonsense to his sweet Nerevar, the negative effects of AI voices are too powerful.

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