Sheer Publishing News

AI in Music: Exploring the Future of Creative Tools and Protecting Image Rights

Mar 27, 2023

David Guetta, a renowned DJ and producer, recently used artificial intelligence (AI) to add a vocal in the style of Eminem to one of his live performances. Following this successful experiment, Guetta has declared that he believes “the future of music is in AI”. He has also stated that he does not plan to release the track commercially, but he thinks that other musicians will use AI as a tool to create new sounds in the future. Guetta is convinced that “every new music style comes from a new technology”.

Guetta compared AI to instruments that have led to musical revolutions in the past. He argued that “there would be no rock ‘n’ roll if there was no electric guitar”, and that “there would be no hip-hop without the sampler.” He believes that AI could define new musical styles, as every new style comes from a new technology. Although Guetta acknowledges the potential of AI in the music industry, he also emphasises that nothing can replace taste, and that what defines an artist is their unique taste and emotion expressed through their music.

However, there are potential legal concerns with using AI in music production, particularly around image rights. Sheer’s Business Affairs and Legal Associate, Tshegofatso Diale, highlights that any unauthorised usage of an individual’s likeness and image falls under image rights.

Even though this is an inherent right, individuals can only enforce it once their rights have been infringed. Therefore, it is crucial to license an individual’s image and likeness, especially if they are a prominent, identifiable figure. “Anyone who uses someone’s image rights needs to obtain a licence from that individual, and the lack of licence can lead to an order to take down any infringing work or content,” Diale adds.

In conclusion, while AI presents exciting opportunities for the future of music, it is essential to ensure that legal and ethical considerations are taken into account to protect the rights of all individuals involved in the music industry.

Southern African Music Rights Organisation

27 (0)11 438 7000

Head Quarters:
5th Floor, 165 West Street
2 Sandown Valley Crescent
Sandton 2196, South Africa

Postal Address:
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Parklands 2121
South Africa

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