Universal Music and BandLab team up to protect artists’ rights amid growing use of artificial intelligence

The illustration shows the Universal Music Group logo.

The Universal Music Group logo is seen in this illustration taken on May 3, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo Acquisition of licensing rights

Oct 18 (Reuters) – Universal Music Group (UMG.AS), the label representing Taylor Swift, said on Wednesday 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 label’s latest move in a music industry that has struggled with songs created using generative artificial intelligence, technology that allows Internet users to easily imitate artists’ voices, often without their consent.

“This is more important now than ever as AI becomes increasingly central to the evolution of music creation tools,” said Universal Music Chief Digital Officer Michael Nash.

In August, Universal Music partnered with Alphabet (GOOGL.O)-owned YouTube to create an incubator that will explore the use of artificial intelligence in music with the help of Universal artists such as composer Max Richter and rapper Yo Gotti.

In April, the label successfully challenged streaming partners to remove the song “Heart On My Sleeve,” which featured AI-generated voices that sounded like Drake and The Weeknd.

BandLab Technologies owns the cloud-based music platform BandLab, where people can come together to create and share music.

Reporting by Samrita Arunasalam in Bengaluru and Dawn Chmielewski in Los Angeles; Editing by Shilpi Majumdar

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