CopyrightLitigationPatent

Voices, Copyrighting and Deepfakes

Jay-Z recently tried to have a YouTube video removed for copyright violations. When YouTuber Voice Synthesis used an open-source program, Tacotron 2, to digitally impersonate Jay-Z’s iconic voice saying different things or singing songs, his entertainment agency Roc Nation LLC claimed that the YouTuber “unlawfully uses an AI to impersonate our client’s voice” and infringe on Jay-Z’s copyright. Roc Nation’s assertion of copyright protection via YouTube’s copyright strike system begs the question: with ever-evolving AI, are voices copyrightable? 

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