It turns out, that if you’re to appropriate any artist’s work just make sure it isn’t from Jay-Z, that is unless you want a massive copyright infringement legal battle on your hands. In early December of 2019, it was revealed that Jay-Z was suing an Australian bookstore for its unlawful use of likeness and repurposed song lyrics for the children’s book titled, ‘A B to Jay-Z’. He won that court battle. Now, the rapper is going after a YouTube account.
As reported by Verge, Jay-Z’s music label Roc Nation has filed a copyright report against Vocal Synthesis, an anonymous YouTube account that uses Artificial Intelligence to make celebrities rap to different written content. There are two videos in question where Jay-Z raps to William Shakespeare’s ‘To Be or Not to Be’ soliloquy from Hamlet and Billy Joel’s ‘We Didn’t Start the Fire’. Roc Nation reportedly sent a takedown notice that read, “This content unlawfully uses an AI to impersonate our client’s voice.”
Whilst YouTube initially took down the videos, they have reinstated citing insufficient grounds from the claimant.
“After reviewing the DMCA takedown requests for the videos in question, we determined that they were incomplete,” a Google spokesperson tells The Verge. “Pending additional information from the claimant, we have temporarily reinstated the videos.”
The videos are created by feeding Google’s open source Tacotron 2 text-to-speech model with Jay-Z songs and lyrics and having the synthetic voice read pre-written text. So what other deep fake could you use with this technology? Well, with the right information, a lot of different things.
Tune into the video below.