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Tennessee Becomes the First State to Protect Artists from AI Misuse

The new Ensuring Likeness Voice and Image Security (ELVIS) Act responds to a worrying trend where AI was employed to create deepfakes of artists' work


Tennessee has become the first state in America to introduce a law protecting artists from the misuse of their voice, image, and likeness.

While the state already had laws in place to protect name, image, and likeness, those laws did not specifically address new, personalized generative AI cloning models and services. These models can now produce very convincing impersonations, allowing users to make unauthorized fake works in the image and voice of others.

The new Ensuring Likeness Voice and Image Security (ELVIS) Act is the first legislation of its kind, and updates the Tennessee's Protection of Personal Rights law to prevent AI from stealing voice, image, and likeness from artists.

"From Beale Street to Broadway, to Bristol and beyond, Tennessee is known for our rich artistic heritage that tells the story of our great state," said Governor Bill Lee. "As the technology landscape evolves with artificial intelligence, I thank the General Assembly for its partnership in creating legal protection for our best-in-class artists and songwriters."

"Once again, Tennessee is leading the nation," said Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson. "Today, the ELVIS Act becomes the first-of-its-kind law to protect musicians from AI-generated synthetic media. The rapid advancement of AI is exciting in many ways, but it also presents new challenges – especially for singers, songwriters, and other music professionals."

"I was proud to work with Gov. Lee and my colleagues in the General Assembly to modernize our laws to ensure AI does not threaten the unique voices and creative content of Tennessee musicians."

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