Artificial intelligence (AI) has been making strides in various industries, and music is no exception. Recently, British rock band Breezer released a new album titled “AIsis: The Lost Tapes,” which replicates the distinctive sound of Oasis so well that it has garnered over 40,000 views on YouTube since its release. What’s interesting about the album is that none of the original members of Oasis were involved in the project, and all of the music and lyrics were written and performed by Breezer.
Chris Woodgates, the co-founder and guitarist of Breezer, explained that the band used AI technology to generate a voice replica of Oasis lead singer Liam Gallagher. Woodgates stated that the project aimed to pay homage to Oasis, whom he called a big influence, and not to capitalize on its work. However, Woodgates did acknowledge the legal gray area surrounding copyright in which “AIsis” and similar projects find themselves.
While the use of AI in the music industry may seem innovative and exciting, it raises some complicated questions about the intersection of creativity and technology. Cover songs and sampling have blurred the lines between tributes and imitations, and the use of AI to create new recordings of famous musicians without their participation raises serious concerns about the future of music.
This is not the first time the music industry has come head-to-head with technology and the internet. In 2000, heavy metal band Metallica filed a lawsuit against the popular file-sharing platform Napster, claiming a breach of copyright laws after discovering that the band’s music was being shared freely online without permission. Lawsuits from other recording artists, including Dr. Dre, and several recording companies followed.
The A.I. copyright dispute is a complicated issue that could encompass issues involving trademark and patent law, based on how the AI was trained to read, extract, and write data. While the standard infringement analysis can be applied to an AI program and its instructions to assess “substantial similarity,” courts will still need to address questions concerning “authorship” and the AI algorithm itself, starting with jurisdiction.
The use of AI technology in the music industry is still in its early stages, and it remains to be seen how it will develop and impact the industry as a whole. Woodgates stated that the band is not opposed to using AI for future songs but will see how the “AIsis” project plays out. While AI-generated music may open up new opportunities for collaboration and immortalize iconic sounds and singers, it is clear that the future of music and copyright law will continue to be a complicated and evolving discussion.