No more CatGPT: Copyright notice issued to remove AI-generated parody of Eminem's voice

The laws surrounding AI are currently ambiguous and AI researchers believe copyright laws could be used to curb ChatGPT and the like.
Deena Theresa
Representational image.
Representational image.


Major record label Universal Publishing group has issued a DMCA takedown notice — a copyright threat — against YouTuber Grandayy for publishing a ChatGPT-generated rap song about cats, Vice reported.

That's not it. An AI-generated version of Eminem's voice helms the microphone.

Now, copyright strikes are severe, and for YouTubers, three strikes would result in a complete ban on their channel. Additionally, all their videos would be permanently erased. That, however, does not mean that parody works aren't allowed. In fact, copyright laws permit parody works as long as they are transformative. Also, the parody work is measured on its impact on the market for the original work.

The laws surrounding AI are yet to be defined

In this scenario, Eminem cat rap does not even sample the rapper's song; it solely mimics his voice and style. However, AI has always been a grey area and it is unclear if your voice can be copyrighted. As a result, several lawsuits under the ownership of AI-generated voices have already been filed.

Grandayy told Vice that it was an "extreme reaction, especially considering the fact that they didn't just block the video but they also sent a DMCA takedown, which gives my YouTube channel a strike". He added: "Since AI blew up in a relatively quick manner, the laws surrounding it are still ambiguous, so legally it's difficult to say for sure if they even have the right to block AI-generated content or not. But regardless of that, I still don't think it was right to take down my video and give my channel a strike, considering that the video was a satirical parody and was clearly labeled as AI-generated content (both in the title and the actual video itself)."

Copyright laws could be used to curb ChatGPT and the like. This is because datasets fuelling ChatGPT and Midjourney compile images after collecting them online, without crediting the actual creators.

Grandayy, known for his meme videos on YouTube, said that this could be a sign that making AI-generated parodies has gotten tricky. "On one hand I totally understand if copyright owners want to protect their art and take down videos that claim or insinuate that they were created by the artist themselves, or videos that try to mimic the original art and therefore compete with it,” they said. “But my video and so many others are just obvious fun transformative parodies that provide no harm to the original art—if anything they are probably of benefit to them—so it's sad to see a record label take down videos like this," he told Vice.

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