News 18 April 2023

Drake & The Weeknd song made by A.I. is removed from streaming services

18 April 2023

A song that utilised artificial intelligence to replicate the voices of Drake and The Weeknd has been removed from multiple streaming services after being hit with a copyright claim by Universal Music Group.

“Heart On My Sleeve,” created by a TikTok user known only as “@ghostwriter”, simulated the two artists exchanging verses and was generated using software that was trained on the two musicians’ voices.

Despite going viral over the weekend after its release on various platforms on Friday, the song was eventually taken down from Apple Music, Spotify, Deezer and Tidal on Monday. TikTok and YouTube are also in the process of removing the track, though some versions remain available.

Universal Music Group argued that the song breached copyright law and urged platforms to take action to protect the rights of artists. The music publisher stated that platforms had a “legal and ethical responsibility” to prevent the use of services that could harm artists.

They said, “The training of generative AI using our artists’ music (which represents both a breach of our agreements and a violation of copyright law) as well as the availability of infringing content created with generative AI on DSPs, begs the question as to which side of history all stakeholders in the music ecosystem want to be on: the side of artists, fans and human creative expression, or on the side of deep fakes, fraud and denying artists their due compensation.

“These instances demonstrate why platforms have a fundamental legal and ethical responsibility to prevent the use of their services in ways that harm artists. We’re encouraged by the engagement of our platform partners on these issues-as they recognise they need to be part of the solution.”

Before being pulled, “Heart On My Sleeve” was streamed 629,439 times on Spotify, earning roughly £1,500, at the platform’s lowest royalty rate of $0.003 per stream.

[Image via Shutterstock]