Union Secures AI Protection Rights for Hollywood Artists

April 16, 2024 thehrobserver-hrobserver-musicperformers

Hollywood performers and media creators have reached a significant accord with leading record labels to safeguard their creations from the growing impact of artificial intelligence (AI).

This tentative agreement, spanning from 2021 to 2026, promises enhanced minimum wages and protections against AI usage, as outlined in a statement by SAG-AFTRA, the union representing Hollywood performers and writers.

“This agreement ensures that our members are protected. While technology can enhance the creative process, the essence of music must always be rooted in genuine human expression and experience,” said SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director & Chief Negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland.  

The statement explains that the artificial intelligence guardrails take effect immediately upon ratification. In this agreement, the terms “artist,” “singer,” and “royalty artist,” only include humans. 

Moreover, under the new guidelines, there are clear and conspicuous consent, along with minimum compensation requirements and specific details of intended use, that are required before the release of a sound recording that uses a digital replication of an artist’s voice.

Other highlights include health and retirement improvements, and an increase in the percentage of streaming revenue to be covered by contributions, among other gains.

Under this agreement, there will be collective bargaining guardrails to assure singers and recording artists ethical and responsible treatment in the use of artificial intelligence in the music industry.

The ongoing integration of AI within the entertainment industry has sparked worries regarding both fair compensation and acknowledgment of artists’ contributions.

Last year, SAG-AFTRA launched a 118-day strike which was fueled by demands for better pay, improved working conditions, and apprehensions about the impact of AI on the industry and the people’s work ethics. 

Earlier in April, around 200 artists, including music industry stars Billie Eilish, Stevie Wonder, and Katy Perry, have voiced their concerns about the impact of the technology on the music industry.

The Artists’ Rights Alliance, posted on Medium, an open letter signed by the 200 artists who said that these AI tools have “undermine or replace the human artistry of songwriters and artists, or deny us fair compensation for our work”.


The HR Observer

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