Senate Proposed “NO FAKES Act” Seeks To Protect Performer Likenesses From Unfair Generative AI Use

Last week, U.S. senators introduced a new bill that would protect the voice and visual likenesses of performers from unfair use via generative artificial intelligence (AI).

The bipartisan resolution known as the Nurture Originals, Foster Art and Keep Entertainment Safe Act–or NO FAKES Act–“would prevent a person from producing or distributing an unauthorized AI-generated replica of an individual to perform in an audiovisual or sound recording without the consent of the individual being replicated,” according to an announcement on Sen. Chris Coons’ official senate website.

The initial draft of the bill, sponsored by Coons and fellow senators Marsha Blackburn, Amy Klobuchar and Thom Tillis, also states that the person creating or sharing the unauthorized likeness replica would be held liable for damages caused by the AI fake.

This new proposal follows a continued adoption of generative AI, particularly relevant in music. Earlier this year, a song by the anonymous artist Ghostwriter called “heart on my sleeve” made headlines for its use of AI to generate voice replicas of Drake and The Weeknd.

“Generative AI has opened doors to exciting new artistic possibilities, but it also presents unique challenges that make it easier than ever to use someone’s voice, image, or likeness without their consent,” Coons said in the announcement. 

“Creators around the nation are calling on Congress to lay out clear policies regulating the use and impact of generative AI, and Congress must strike the right balance to defend individual rights, abide by the First Amendment, and foster AI innovation and creativity,” he continued.

In an effort to strike this First Amendment balance, the announcement also states that there would be certain exclusions for AI fakes, including news and sports broadcast, documentaries, criticism, and parody.

The proposal has also been applauded by the currently striking Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), who have spoken out against a proposal from studios that would use AI-generated replicas of background actors without pay or consent.

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Written by
Peter Volpe

Journalism student at The Ohio State University with a passion for culture and fat basslines.

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