- By Nichola Rutherford
- BBC news
A song that used artificial intelligence to copy Drake and The Weeknd’s voices is being removed from streaming services.
Heart On My Sleeve is no longer available on Apple Music, Spotify, Deezer, and Tidal.
It is also in the process of being pulled from TikTok and YouTube, but some versions are still available.
It followed harsh criticism from publisher Universal Music Group that the song violated copyright law.
The music publisher said platforms have a “legal and ethical responsibility” to prevent the use of services that harm artists.
The track emulates Drake and The Weeknd’s trading verses about pop star and actress Selena Gomez, who previously dated The Weeknd.
The creator, known as @ghostwriter, claims the song was created by trained software based on the musicians’ vocals.
After being posted on several platforms on Friday, the track went viral over the weekend.
It was initially removed from Apple, Deezer, and Tidal on Monday afternoon, before TikTok, Spotify and YouTube were later asked to remove it.
The link to the original version of the song on YouTube now says: “This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Universal Music Group”.
On Spotify, it was streamed 629,439 times before being taken down. With Spotify’s lowest royalty fee of $0.003 per stream, that means it makes around $1,888 (£1,500).
Universal Music Group, which publishes both artists through Republic Records, says it’s been working on its own AI innovation for some time.
But it added: “Training a creative AI using our artists’ music (which represents both a breach of our agreement and a violation of copyright law) as well as the availability of infringing content created with creative AI on DSP [digital service providers]raises the question of which side of history do all stakeholders in the music ecosystem want to take: artists, fans, and human creative expression, or siding with imposters poignant, fraudulent, and refuses to pay the artist due compensation.
“These cases demonstrate why platforms have a fundamental legal and ethical responsibility to prevent the use of their services in a way that harms artists. We are encouraged by involvement. our platform partners on these issues—because they realize they need to be on board for the solution.”
An intellectual property (IP) lawyer told the BBC that copyright and artificial intelligence laws are not straightforward.
Jani Ihalainen, of the RPC, said UK copyright law gives performers certain rights over their performances, including making copies of sound recordings of performances. specifically.
“However, a ‘deeply faked’ voice, which does not specifically reproduce a performance, will most likely not be protected and may even be considered a protected work in its own right. .”
He added: “Current legislation is not sufficient to address deep-rooted scams and potential IP and other rights issues.”
Neither artist has yet commented on the song, but Drake recently expressed displeasure about his vocals being copied.
“This is the ultimate AI straw,” he posted on Instagram, after stumbling across a fan-made video in which he appeared to be rapping the song Ice Spice Munch (Feeling U).