David Guetta just deep faked Eminem into one of his tracks

David Guetta's latests tweet featuring a deepfake of Eminem's voice raises some interesting legal questions around the technology.
Christopher McFadden
Did David Guetta break copyright law? Apparently not.

Michael Spiller/Wikimedia Commons 

Last week, as reported by New Atlas, French DJ and music producer David Guetta tweeted a live performance featuring a "deep fake" of rap artist Eminem's voice. In the tweet, he explained how he did it using AI tools.

He doesn't explicitly mention which ones, but some have suggested he probably used things like ChatGPT to write the lyrics and Uberduck or FakeYou to turn them into soundbites.

"There's something I made as a joke, and it worked so [well] I could not believe it! I discovered [these] websites that are about AI. Basically, you can write lyrics in any artist's style. So I typed 'write a verse in the style of Eminem about Future Rave,' and I went to another AI website that can recreate the voice. I put the text in that, and I played the record, and people went nuts," Guetta explained.

So far, Eminem (and his legal team) haven't responded, if they ever will. Nonetheless, it does raise some interesting legal questions.

AI and deep fake progress are outpacing the law. The New York Times reports that most laws focus on "deep fake pornography" and political impersonation. China just passed laws that say deep fakes and subject consent must have watermarks or digital signatures. A U.S. bill requiring watermarks or labels on deep fakes has yet to be voted on.

The audio sample here was created by an algorithm that "trained" on hours of Eminem's actual performances. If Guetta had sampled Eminem, he would have owed performance royalties.

However, Guetta appears to have broken no laws, so any young music producer with a laptop, DAW, and an internet connection can now feature a fake Eminem on their tracks. You can make him or any other celebrity with a cloned voice say anything.

You can even make him endorse products he's never heard of or espouses views he doesn't share without telling anyone it's a fake.

Current U.S. copyright law may allow it anyway.

"U.S. Copyright legislation enables deep fake content creation, considering it as fair use," writes Akhil Satheesh in a 2022 blog piece for the University of Richmond's Journal of Law and Technology. "However, as these laws do not discriminate based on the intent of the creator, it allows the categorization of deep fakes produced with even mala fide intent, as parodies and even protects as the same," he added.

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