New Senate Bill Seeks to Outlaw Unauthorized AI-Generated Likenesses; SAG-AFTRA Applauds “No Fakes Act”

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New Senate Bill Seeks to Outlaw Unauthorized AI-Generated Likenesses; SAG-AFTRA Applauds “No Fakes Act”

A group of bipartisan senators has introduced a discussion draft bill to safeguard actors, singers, and other entertainers from having their voices and appearances replicated by artificial intelligence.

The Nurture Originals, Foster Art, and Keep Entertainment Safe Act, known as the NO FAKES Act, would hold responsible individuals, companies, and platforms producing or hosting these digital replicas.

SAG-AFTRA has strongly supported the bill, with President Fran Drescher emphasizing the importance of consent and respecting the unique essence of performers.

Under the NO FAKES Act, it would be prohibited to create or distribute unauthorized AI-generated replicas of individuals for use in audiovisual or sound recordings without their consent.

Those responsible for creating or sharing these unauthorized replicas would be liable for the damages caused.

However, there are exceptions for works protected by the First Amendment, such as sports broadcasts, documentaries, biographical works, and those used for comment, criticism, or parody.

The bill is sponsored by Senators Chris Coons, Marsha Blackburn, Amy Klobuchar, and Thom Tillis, and it offers significant federal intellectual property protections against the unauthorized use of voice and likeness in sound recordings and audiovisual works.

It seeks to ensure that digital replicas cannot be used without informed consent from the replicated individuals.

Coons, Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Intellectual Property Subcommittee, emphasizes the need for clear regulations on generative AI to balance protecting individual rights, upholding the First Amendment, and fostering AI innovation and creativity.

Blackburn adds that songwriters, actors, and creatives deserve ownership of their name, image, and likeness, and the proposed legislation is a critical step in safeguarding their rights.

According to SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, generative AI has led to an inundation of AI-created content that exploits the voices and likenesses of its members without consent or compensation.

He emphasizes that the voice and likeness of performers are their livelihoods, and it is unjust for them to be used without permission.

The NO FAKES Act aims to address these issues and protect performers’ rights in the digital age.


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