Tennessee Passes ELVIS Act to Safeguard Artists Against AI Misuse

Published March 21, 2024

In a significant move for artists' rights, Tennessee has implemented the Ensuring Likeness Voice and Image Security (ELVIS) Act, earning praise from across the creative community in the United States. Governor Bill Lee signed the bipartisan legislation on March 21st at a Nashville honky-tonk, reflecting Tennessee's commitment to protecting the rights of artists in the era of advanced technology.

New Safeguards for Artists

The ELVIS Act, which comes into effect on July 1st, expands the state's current right of publicity laws. Under this act, creators will have stronger defense against unauthorized use of their voices by artificial intelligence—a rising issue in the entertainment industry. The update to Tennessee's Protection of Personal Rights law focuses specifically on safeguarding songwriters, performers, and other music professionals.

What the ELVIS Act Entails

The office of Governor Lee released a statement underscoring that while existing laws protect an individual's name, image, and likeness, they did not previously address the concerns posed by new AI technologies capable of cloning human traits. These technologies can create fake works impersonating individuals without authorization, which poses a threat to the integrity and livelihoods of creators. The ELVIS Act is the first of its kind in the United States to stipulate protection for an artist's voice along with their image and likeness.

Celebration Amongst the Creative Community

The Human Artistry Campaign praised the act as a landmark step against unethical AI use, with industry figures such as Luke Bryan acknowledging its importance during the signing event. Representatives from various music organizations, including the Artist Rights Alliance, Recording Academy, and Black Music Action Coalition, showed unanimous support for the act. They emphasized its necessity for maintaining the authenticity of music and artistic works against the background of swiftly progressing AI technology.

Looking Forward

The passage of the ELVIS Act has been met with hope that it will set a precedent for future state and federal legislation in the U.S. It's an encouraging sign for the protection of the unique identities of creators, particularly as we advance in the digital age. The law reflects a broader movement to ensure that technological innovations do not come at the cost of violating individual rights or diminishing the soul of creative endeavors.

Tennessee, ELVIS, Artists