HomeBusinessWhy did Common ask YouTube to take down an AI Eminem observe?

Why did Common ask YouTube to take down an AI Eminem observe?

MBW Explains is a collection of analytical options during which we discover the context behind main music trade speaking factors – and recommend what would possibly occur subsequent.


This week, a YouTuber with over 2.9 million subscribers revealed on Twitter that that they had acquired a copyright strike from YouTube for a well-liked video they posted on their channel.

Titled, ‘I requested AI to put in writing an Eminem rap about cats’, Grandayy’s video included an AI-generated observe that includes vocals that mimic Eminem’s voice. The video was featured by John Oliver in February on an episode of HBO’s Final Week Tonight.

YouTube issued the strike and eliminated the video from its platform after a takedown request was submitted by Common Music Publishing Group, which signed a worldwide administration settlement with Eminem in 2007.

Grandayy claimed on Twitter: “Common Music Group simply determined to copyright strike my AI Eminem Cat Rap video. Normally they only declare and monetize movies like this however they actually needed AI Eminem to be taken down for some motive.”

Based on YouTube’s FAQs, receiving a copyright strike “implies that a copyright proprietor submitted a whole and legitimate authorized takedown request for utilizing their copyright-protected content material”.

The FAQs add: “After we get any such formal notification, we take down your video to adjust to copyright legislation”.


Using synthetic intelligence in music is stirring up so much of debate proper now.

One specific use of AI for lyric writing went viral in January after a Nick Cave fan requested the ChatGPT system to put in writing lyrics ‘within the fashion of Nick Cave’, with the artist calling the tip product “a grotesque mockery“.

However past text-based AI, probably the most transformative makes use of of synthetic intelligence in music proper now could be the usage of AI engines to imitate human vocals.

MBW wrote about this in November, once we revealed that Tencent Music Leisure had launched over 1,000 songs with human-mimicking AI vocals – and that certainly one of them had already achieved 100 million streams.

We additionally reported on this development again in 2021 and once more in 2022, when HYBE, the corporate behind BTS, initially invested in, and subsequently acquired, voice AI firm Supertone in a $32 million deal.

Supertone claims to have the ability to create “a hyper-realistic and expressive voice that [is not] distinguishable from actual people”.

Extra just lately, a high-profile instance of a well-liked artist’s vocals being mimicked by AI got here from David Guetta.

In February, Guetta revealed that “as a joke”, he’d requested an AI platform to put in writing lyrics within the fashion of Eminem.

Guetta then used an AI software to imitate Eminem’s voice utilizing these lyrics, earlier than enjoying the ensuing audio in a dwell set. He stated that his viewers went “nuts” in response.

The David Guetta story threw up numerous moral and authorized questions on the usage of AI to imitate one other artist’s vocals with out their permission.

This was additional put to the check final month in a wild viral video from ‘entrepreneur and designer’ Roberto Nickson, during which Nickson used an AI audio mannequin of Kanye West (aka: Ye) to show his personal voice into that of the controversial celebrity.

(In case you haven’t seen Nickson’s very spectacular, but slightly unsettling video, it’s a must-watch – test it out right here.)

Nickson supplied a glimpse into the way forward for how this sort of AI may be used. He predicted that in years to come back, “each common musician may have a number of skilled [vocal] fashions of them”.

He added: “Issues are going to maneuver very quick over the subsequent two years. You’re going to be listening to songs by your favourite artists which might be utterly indistinguishable. You’re not going to know whether or not it’s them or not.”


A supply tells MBW that the difficulty at hand within the Grandayy takedown request was merely a musical one: the music used within the YouTuber’s observe was, in Common’s view, created within the fashion of the musical composition for Eminem’s hit Not Afraid, which itself has been streamed over 819 million occasions on Spotify alone.

In different phrases, UMPG believed that the backing music used within the Grandayy AI observe infringed on the copyright of Eminem’s unique hit. That’s why a takedown request was issued to YouTube by Common – not due to the AI vocals that mimicked Eminem’s voice.

Talking to VICE, Grandayy argued that the AI Eminem rap observe was a parody, stating: “On one hand I completely perceive if copyright house owners need to shield their artwork and take down movies that declare or insinuate that they had been created by the artist themselves, or movies that attempt to mimic the unique artwork and due to this fact compete with it.”

Grandayy added: “However my video and so many others are simply apparent enjoyable transformative parodies that present no hurt to the unique artwork — if something they’re in all probability of profit to them — so it’s unhappy to see a document label take down movies like this.”

Parodic works are allowed in copyright legislation offered they’re “transformative”, i.e. introduced in a manner that considerably adjustments the unique work, and in the event that they don’t compete with the unique in the identical market. (YouTube units out its truthful use insurance policies round parody and pastiche in accordance with copyright legislation, right here.)

Grandayy has instructed that UMG often “simply declare[s] and monetize[s] movies like this however they actually needed AI Eminem to be taken down for some motive”.

One other supply with information of how UMG’s take-down requests work tells us that, as a matter of coverage, the corporate chooses to not monetize ‘unauthorized by-product’ works – i.e content material that UMG believes infringes on an unique observe’s composition, lyrics or different parts with out permission.

A Last Thought

It’s not clear if the supposedly infringing music accompanying Grandayy’s AI-generated vocals was additionally generated by AI. But when so, it speaks to a problematic problem for the fashionable music biz.

The incident throws up plenty of questions concerning the copyright implications of generative AI’s use in music, and why it’s changing into a rising concern within the wider music trade.

This was highlighted by the latest launch, by a coalition of over 30 events together with the RIAA, the Recording Academy, SAG-AFTRA and SoundExchange, of a marketing campaign at SXSW in Austin final month setting out seven “Core Ideas for Synthetic Intelligence Functions” geared toward supporting ‘human artistry.

Included in these ideas are that ‘the usage of copyrighted works, and use of the voices and likenesses {of professional} performers, requires authorization, licensing, and compliance with all related state and federal legal guidelines’.

Michael Nash, Common Music Group’s Government Vice President and Chief Digital Officer, additionally just lately penned an op/ed for MBW, during which he highlighted a few of the copyright considerations round AI-generated content material.

In that op/ed, Nash wrote, that: “AI is remodeling the methods we dwell, work and play – from chatbots that reply advanced inquiries to methods that may write satisfactory screenplays to applications which have handed a part of a bar examination within the US.

He added: “AI is now creating imagery akin to skilled artists — with one AI-generated portrait being bought for £40,000 at Sotheby’s and one other composition successful a State Honest competitors in Colorado.

“However what many individuals don’t understand is that almost all of those AI methods purchase their important base of ‘information’ from huge portions of copyrighted content material, with out looking for consent from, nor offering compensation to, those that really produce and personal this indispensable supply materials.”Music Enterprise Worldwide

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