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Musician Holly Herndon has been thinking about AI music and artists’ rights for a long time, and has already launched her own voice clone with a business model around it.

With that in mind, her words of advice for fellow artists yesterday should carry weight.

“Artists, for the time being it is a good idea not to sign any contract regarding usage of your voice in an AI context,” tweeted Herndon.

“There is so much room for exploitation between general confusion about AI and FOMO. There is plenty of time. Don’t sign anything until things settle down, or always consult a lawyer.”

“There is going to be a frenzy of companies trying to lock in rights to artist voices. Some may be very well intentioned. I don’t think artist education is anywhere close to where it needs to be for people to tell the difference.”

Herndon also advised artists considering label deals to negotiate an AI exception for voice usage.

“It is standard for record companies to expect you will not lend your voice to songs while under contract without approval – which is fair,” she wrote. “But this is complicated in AI world.”

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight