Lawmakers recently introduced legislation that could change how artificial intelligence interacts with celebrities’ likenesses. The No Fakes Act seeks to prevent unauthorized deepfakes and virtual replicas of famous figures.
3 key takeaways
- The “No Fakes Act” would create federal rules around using a person’s identity in AI systems.
- It aims to prevent “deepfakes” and virtual replicas made without consent.
- The bill carves out exceptions for parody, commentary, and other permissible uses.
What is the “No Fakes Act”?
The No Fakes Act, or Nurturing Originals, Fostering Art, and Keeping Entertainment Safe Act, seeks to address concerns around emerging AI technologies. Some systems can generate realistic images, audio, and video based on examples. This allows creating virtual replicas of public figures through artificial intelligence.
The bill’s sponsors worry such replicas could be misused without the figures’ permission. They point to incidents like a viral song on TikTok that featured computer-generated voices of Drake and The Weeknd without consent. The No Fakes Act aims to prevent these kinds of unauthorized digital replicas on a federal level.
What the “No FAKES act” could mean:
Currently, laws around using someone’s likeness, known as “right of publicity,” vary by state. The No Fakes Act would standardize rules by creating a federal right protecting a person’s name, voice, image, and likeness from AI replication without permission. This right would apply nationwide and last through a person’s lifetime plus 70 years after death.
The bill carves out exceptions that allow AI-generated content for commentary, criticism, parody, and other permissible free speech. It also exempts uses like depicting public figures in documentaries or biographies that follow standard ethics guidelines. However, it explicitly states creating replicas for commercial purposes without authorization would not be allowed.
Read more: Global independent music publishers: Ethical guidelines for AI in music unveiled.
Groups representing recording artists and record labels support the No Fakes Act. They see it as important for protecting against unauthorized commercial exploitation of creators through emerging AI systems. However, some legal experts argue the bill risks conflicting with existing copyright and right of publicity laws. Others say it raises challenges around balancing these new protections with fair use and free speech principles.
As AI and virtual technology continue advancing, legislation around conceptual likeness rights will remain an issue Congress grapples with. The No Fakes Act aims to provide a baseline while technology and its applications outpace existing laws. However, its potential impact depends on how its provisions are interpreted and applied going forward.
In summary, the No Fakes Act looks to standardize rules protecting creators in an age where artificial intelligence presents new ways to generate and distribute media. Whether its approach achieves the right balance is a topic lawmakers and legal experts will continue debating.