JAY-Z‘s label Roc Nation has filed copyright takedown notices against deepfake videos using Artificial Intelligence to make him rap Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” the Verge reports.
Vocal Synthesis, the anonymous creator of the YouTube-hosted videos, got the takedown notice from Roc Nation, which reads: “This content unlawfully uses an AI to impersonate our client’s voice.” The Voice Synethesis’ videos are created by feeding Google’s open source Tacotron 2 text-to-speech model with JAY-Z songs and having the synthetic voice read pre-written text.
After receiving a takedown request, YouTube initially removed the videos, but has since reinstated them, citing insufficient grounds from the claimant. You can watch the contested video below.
The situation raises new questions about to what ends AI can qualify as copyright infringement. Deepfake videos have caused controversies with many celebrities, where the issue has often been using their imagery in adult films. However, how far a voice impersonation falls under intellectual property is still unclear.