Tennessee Passes ELVIS Act to Shield Artists from AI Exploitation

Published March 21, 2024

On March 21, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee officially made the bipartisan Ensuring Likeness Voice and Image Security (ELVIS) Act a state law. This pioneering legislation received praise from all corners of the creative community in the United States for its forward-thinking approach to safeguarding artists' proprietary rights against artificial intelligence (AI) abuses.

Understanding the ELVIS Act

The ELVIS Act addresses the growing concern over AI technology's potential misuse, particularly through the unauthorized replication of an artist's voice and image. Scheduled to be enacted on July 1, the law updates Tennessee's existing right of publicity laws to combat this new form of identity theft.

The law now includes detailed protection measures specifically against advanced AI systems that can create highly convincing forgeries of human voices and appearances, potentially leading to unauthorized fake works that damage the integrity and identity of artists.

Industry Support for the ELVIS Act

Many renowned music industry professionals and organizations have backed the law, lauding Tennessee's swift action. David Israelite, President & CEO of the National Music Publishers' Association, called the law 'an important step forward in the fight to value songwriters and artists in the age of AI.'

American Idol judge Luke Bryan also shared his encouragement at a Nashville event, underscoring that the ELVIS Act sets a crucial precedent for the state in showing support for artists and their creative rights.

Support for the ELVIS Act extends beyond individual artists, with strong endorsements from multiple organizations including the Black Music Action Coalition, Music Artists Coalition, and the Nashville Songwriters Association International. These groups recognize the act as an essential defense against non-consensual AI deepfakes and voice clones that threaten the heart of the artist's craft.

Impact Beyond Tennessee

The passage of the ELVIS Act in Tennessee may also inspire other states and federal legislation to adopt similar protections for artists. Notably, the act is seen as setting the standard for responsible and ethical use of AI, potentially shaping the future landscape of artist rights in the digital age. With Tennessee's deep musical heritage, the ELVIS Act stands as a testimony to the state's commitment to protecting its valued creative community.

ELVIS, law, AI