Monday, February 26, 2024
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U.S. Senator Christopher Coons of Delaware

U.S. Senator and Chair of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) announced they have released a discussion draft of their Nurture Originals, Foster Art, and Keep Entertainment Safe (NO FAKES) Act today to protect the voice and visual likenesses of individuals from unfair use through generative artificial intelligence (AI).

“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,” said Senator Coons. “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. I am thankful for the bipartisan partnership of Senators Blackburn, Klobuchar, and Tillis as we work to protect all individuals from unauthorized replication and ensure that the United States sets clear rules governing the intersection of AI and intellectual property.”

“Songwriters, actors, and our incredibly talented creative community deserve the right to own their name, image, and likeness (NIL). This legislation is a good first step in protecting our creative community, preventing AI models from stealing someone’s NIL, and ensuring that those rights are given primary consideration under the law. I look forward to joining Senator Coons and my colleagues in the Senate and House to develop strong bipartisan legislation we can pass into law,” said Senator Blackburn.

“More and more, we’re seeing AI used to replicate someone’s likeness and voice in ads, images, and videos without consent or compensation. Our laws need to keep up with this quickly evolving technology,” said Senator Klobuchar. “We must put in place rules of the road to protect people from having their voice and likeness replicated through AI without their permission.”

“While AI presents extraordinary opportunities for technological advancement, it also poses some new problems, including the voice and likeness of artists being replicated to create unauthorized works,” said Senator Tillis. “We must protect against such misuse, and I’m proud to co-introduce this draft legislation to create safeguards from AI and protect the authentic work of these artists.”

The 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. The person creating or sharing the unauthorized replication would be liable for the damages caused by the AI-generated fake. Exclusions are provided for the representation of an individual in works that are protected by the First Amendment, such as sports broadcasts, documentaries, biographical works, or for purposes of comment, criticism, or parody, among others.

With the rapid advance of generative AI, creators have already begun to see their voices and likenesses used without their consent in videos and songs. Notably, the song “Heart on my Sleeve,” which used AI-generated likenesses of the voices of pop stars Drake and The Weeknd, accumulated hundreds of thousands of listens on YouTube, Spotify, and other streaming sites within days and was poised to appear on streaming charts before it was removed by streaming services.

As Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Intellectual Property Subcommittee, Senator Coons has long advocated for protecting U.S. intellectual property rights and making U.S. intellectual property law more reliable, effective, and predictable. Senator Coons has held a series of hearings focused on exploring the impact of AI, proposing regulation frameworks, and ensuring U.S. leadership on AI policies.

The text of the discussion draft is available here. A one-pager is available here.

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Leah Sirama
Leah Sirama
Leah Sirama, a lifelong enthusiast of Artificial Intelligence, has been exploring technology and the digital realm since childhood. Known for his creative thinking, he's dedicated to improving AI experiences for all, making him a respected figure in the field. His passion, curiosity, and creativity drive advancements in the AI world.


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