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Universal Music, BandLab Technologies team up to protect artist rights amid rising AI use

Universal Music Group, the label representing Taylor Swift, said on Wednesday (Oct 18) it has partnered with digital music firm BandLab Technologies to help protect the rights of artists and songwriters amid the growing use of artificial intelligence.

The deal marks the latest move by the label in the music industry, which is grappling with songs created by generative AI – a technology that makes it easy for internet users to mimic artists’ voices, often without their consent.

“This is more important than ever right now as AI assumes an increasingly prominent place in the evolution of music creation tools,” said Universal Music’s digital chief Michael Nash.

Universal Music partnered with Alphabet-owned YouTube in August to form an incubator that would explore the use of AI in music with the help of Universal artists such as composer Max Richter and rapper Yo Gotti.

The label had in April successfully bid for streaming partners to remove the song Heart On My Sleeve, which used AI-made voices that sounded like Drake and The Weeknd.

Universal Music had previously said it was working with the other 140 organisations in the creative industries to support policymakers around the world about how to ensure AI is used at the service of creators.

The company already uses AI to identify the audiences for artists, optimize production and enhance the quality of music experience such as immersive sound, among others.

BandLab Technologies owns the BandLab cloud music platform where people can come together to make and share music.

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