One artist who isn’t getting too cross about the prospect of their voice being cloned for AI-generated tracks is Grimes.

“I’ll split 50% royalties on any successful AI generated song that uses my voice. Same deal as I would with any artist i collab with,” she tweeted this week.

“Feel free to use my voice without penalty. I have no label and no legal bindings. I think it’s cool to be fused w a machine and I like the idea of open sourcing all art and killing copyright.”

Which does raise the question: isn’t copyright what enables anyone to earn and thus split 50% of the royalties for a given piece of work? And isn’t copyright also the thing that enables you to enforce any such agreement, and take action if the collaborator decides they don’t fancy sharing half the loot?

Still, it’s an interesting approach for an artist to take, and one that gives Grimes a good chance of encountering some of the most talented creative-AI developers and startups. Her interest in this area was first established by her partnership with Endel in 2020, too.

Another comparison is Holly Herndon, who launched her ‘deepfake twin’ Holly+ in 2021, including a thoughtful approach to licensing and royalties around it.

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight

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