Gebre Waddell
Secretary/Treasurer of the Recording Academy’s Board of Trustees Gebre Waddell

Photo: Ed Rode / Getty Images


How The House's No AI FRAUD Act And Tenn.'s ELVIS Act Will Protect Human Creativity

The Recording Academy is leading the way in protecting artists, songwriters and producers from the detrimental effects of AI cloning.

Advocacy/Jan 19, 2024 - 07:26 pm

In the evolving landscape of technology, personalized generative artificial intelligence (AI) cloning models now enable human impersonation, allowing users to create unauthorized fake works using the image, voice and style of musicians, songwriters, and producers. These digital replicas — soundalikes that mimic music makers — may be fun, but absent the consent of the artist they pose a real threat to human creativity.

While the Recording Academy welcomes and embraces technological advancements, our commitment is to safeguard the nature of art — human creativity and passion. That's why the Recording Academy is leading the way in protecting artists, songwriters and producers from the detrimental effects of AI cloning.

Since AI emerged as a technological advancement, the Recording Academy has been quick to engage with policymakers around the country to ensure human creativity is always at the forefront of policy. And on Jan. 10, two important policy developments took place with the support of the Recording Academy and its members.

First, in Nashville, the Recording Academy joined with Gov. Bill Lee, House Majority Leader William Lamberth and Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson, and dozens of artists, songwriters, music executives, and industry groups to introduce the Ensuring Likeness, Voice, Image Security (ELVIS) Act.

The ELVIS Act is the first bill in the nation with a focus on safeguarding the core elements of artistic identity: voices, lyrics, and likenesses. The bill builds upon Tennessee's existing Right of Publicity statute to ensure artists' creative expressions remain authentic and shielded from exploitation in an era where AI can easily blur the lines between creativity and deceit.

Upon introduction of the historic legislation, Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr. said, "As AI technology continues to develop, today marks an important step towards groundbreaking state-level AI legislation. This bipartisan, bicameral bill will protect Tennessee's creative community against AI deepfakes and voice cloning, and will serve as the standard for other states to follow. The Academy appreciates Governor Lee and bipartisan members of the Tennessee legislature for leading the way – we're eager to collaborate with lawmakers to move this bill forward."

Gebre Waddell, the Recording Academy's national Secretary/Treasurer, spoke at the event on behalf of his Memphis music community and offered similar praise for the ELVIS Act. He was joined by a number of Academy leaders from Tennessee including Nashville Chapter board members Maggie Rose and Matt Maher, past president Ruby Amanfu, and Executive Director Alicia Warwick, and Memphis Chapter Board Members Boo Mitchell and Pat Mitchell Worley, and Executive Director Jon Hornyak.

The ELVIS Act is expected to be quickly considered by the state's legislature, and with support from the Governor could soon become the first law of its kind. And the Recording Academy hopes it will also become model legislation for other states to follow.

That same day, leaders on Capitol Hill took a similar step to protecting creators' identity with the bipartisan introduction of the No AI FRAUD Act (H.R. 6943). Introduced by Reps. Maria Salazar (R-FL), Madeline Dean (D-PA), Nathaniel Moran (R-TX), Rob Wittman (R-VA), and Joe Morelle (D-NY). The bill is the first federal solution with protections for all Americans who could be vulnerable to fraudulent replicas. Importantly, H.R. 6943 reaffirms that everyone's likeness and voice is federally protected and that they have the ability to enforce this right against misuse.

The No FRAUD Act has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee for consideration and has quickly garnered widespread support from the music industry, including the Recording Academy, and is also backed by the Human Artistry CampAIgn, which the Academy helped launch in 2023. This campaign is dedicated to preserving the human element in art, ensuring it stays at the forefront of the industry as new laws and regulations concerning AI take shape.

Following H.R. 6943's introduction, Mason jr. said "We are grateful to Reps. Salazar, Dean, Moran, Morelle, and Wittman for working to protect the voice and visual likeness of artists, performers, and songwriters from being replicated and exploited without consent. We look forward to working alongside our nation's leaders to ensure that music can continue to thrive in this new era of technological advancement."

His support was similarly echoed by Latin Recording Academy CEO Manuel Abud who stated "AI will unequivocally play a role in shaping the future of the music industry, and it is of the utmost importance that we work together to protect the rights of music creators everywhere as the technology develops. I applaud this effort by members of Congress to support the creative community."

The call for collective action against AI fraud in the music industry is a pressing one. It is only through a united front that we can safeguard the industry's authenticity and secure a future where human music creators can create, free from the fear of exploitation. Both the No AI FRAUD Act and the ELVIS Act are important steps to protect human creativity while harnessing the power of technology for good.

Stay tuned for ongoing updates as the Recording Academy persistently advocates for the rights of music creators, regardless of the evolving technological landscape.

Looking Back On 2023: A Rundown Of The Recording Academy's Advocacy Accomplishments

The 2024 GRAMMYs on the Hill takes place Tuesday, April 30, through Friday, May 3, in Washington, D.C.

Graphic Courtesy of the Recording Academy


The Key Issues & Bills To Know Ahead Of GRAMMYs On The Hill 2024: AI, Live Event Ticketing Reform & More

Learn how the Recording Academy will join congressional leaders and music professionals at GRAMMYs On The Hill 2024 in Washington, D.C., to tackle the key issues and bills impacting the music industry, including the No AI FRAUD Act and the Fans First Act.

Advocacy/Apr 26, 2024 - 10:20 pm

The 2024 GRAMMYs on the Hill Awards is sponsored by City National Bank and benefits the GRAMMY Museum.

The Recording Academy is taking the beat to Capitol Hill next week for GRAMMYs on the Hill 2024, where GRAMMY winners and nominees and music professionals will visit lawmakers to advocate for legislation advancing music creators' rights. 

The Recording Academy's annual GRAMMYs on the Hill is the signature music event in Washington, D.C., where music creators and congressional members come together to celebrate our progress in the music space, shed light on the issues the music community is currently facing, and advocate for real change. GRAMMYs on the Hill 2024 comprises three marquee events: the annual GRAMMYs on the Hill Awards on Tuesday, April 30, which this year honors nine-time GRAMMY winner Sheryl Crow and Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN); the annual GRAMMYs on the Hill Advocacy Day on Wednesday, May 1, Capitol Hill's largest and most prestigious legislative event for music; and the inaugural GRAMMYs on the Hill Future Forum on Friday, May 3, which will explore the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on the music community.

This year, the Recording Academy is focused on two critical issues affecting the music industry and fans everywhere: AI fraud and live event ticketing reform. Several key pieces of legislation are being furthered toward these efforts, including the No AI FRAUD Act in the House of Representatives and the Senate's No FAKES Act discussion draft, to protect the image and likeness of artists everywhere. The Fans First Act and the TICKET Act represent the most comprehensive set of reforms to strengthen the live event ticketing marketplace and protect fans, artists, and independent small businesses.

"The Recording Academy is in the business of celebrating human excellence and human creativity," Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr. said. "That was the biggest concern when we crafted our GRAMMY Award policies. We understand that AI is a part of our industry and here to stay, but our awards guidelines stay true to our mission to honor the people behind the music we love so much. Only human creators are eligible to be submitted for consideration for, nominated for, or win a GRAMMY Award."

Today and forever, it is essential that we protect the people in music. Because music makes us human. As a nonprofit organization that supports advocacy across the music industry, the Recording Academy champions rights for all music creators — not just our Academy members. Being a music advocate means championing music creators' rights year-round, and Recording Academy members have the power to enact true change in music. 

In the guide below, learn more about the important actions and issues driving GRAMMYs on the Hill 2024, which are aimed at protecting the livelihoods of present and future generations of music creators. And learn more about the Recording Academy's efforts to safeguard human creativity and help creators navigate the use of AI across the music industry today.

Learn More: GRAMMYs On The Hill Awards 2024: Everything You Need To Know Including Mission, Goals, Honorees & Achievements


Across our landscape, technology like generative AI and bot automation threaten to rob our society of human-made music, the timeless, essential craft of expression that transcends cultures and has defined what it means to be human across eons. 

The Recording Academy is leading the national conversation about AI in music, using GRAMMY Week in Los Angeles as a platform for a congressional hearing to explore how AI digital replicas threaten individual artists. 

GRAMMYs on the Hill Advocacy Day will further these efforts, with a focus on the bipartisan No AI FRAUD Act, the first federal solution with protections for all Americans who could be vulnerable to fraudulent replicas. The bill was introduced earlier this year in the House of Representatives by Reps. Maria Elvira Salazar (R-FL) and Madeline Dean (D-PA). In the Senate, the Recording Academy is also pushing for support of Senator Chris Coons's (D-DE) bipartisan effort to introduce a draft of the No FAKES Act with the strongest possible protections for individuals. 

Read more: How The House's No AI FRAUD Act And Tenn.'s ELVIS Act Will Protect Human Creativity

"AI increasingly affects every single one of us," said GRAMMY-winning singer/songwriter Lainey Wilson during her testimony in front of the House Judiciary Committee during its GRAMMY weekend hearing. "We need artists to keep telling stories and connecting with fans and bringing people together authentically. We need to keep humanity in art — we cannot lose that. The No AI FRAUD Act is a great place to start."

Although AI technology holds promise, its rampant expansion without reasonable controls has resulted in real wage theft of working-class musicians and artists. We're rapidly headed toward a world of machine-made music and, worse, the disenfranchisement of millions of human music creators, the repercussions of which would be nothing short of catastrophic. The No AI FRAUD Act and its Senate counterpart establish that everyone's image, likeness and voice are federally protected and that they have the ability to enforce this right against misuse.

 "The bill [No AI FRAUD Act] establishes in federal law that an individual has a personal property right in the use of their image and voice. That's just common sense, and it is long overdue," said Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr. "The bill also empowers individuals to enforce this right against those who facilitate, create, and spread AI frauds without their permission." 

The risks of AI are also being addressed at the state level with new laws setting a precedent for national policy. The ELVIS Act (Ensuring Likeness, Voice, and Image Security,) signed into law in Tennessee on March 21, marked a historic milestone as the first legislation in the nation focused on safeguarding the core elements of artistic identity, including voice and likeness, in the context of AI. The Academy is also working closely with lawmakers in Illinois to update the state’s laws to better protect individuals from digital replicas. 

Protecting the image, likeness and voice of individual creators from AI fakes through legislative measures such as the No AI FRAUD Act in the House of Representatives and the Senate's No FAKES Act discussion draft are integral components to the Recording Academy's year-round mission. 

Live Event Ticketing Reform: Fans First Act & the TICKET Act

The human connection that forms between artists and fans through live music is at the heart of what makes music special. Today, that special connection between artists and fans is threatened by predatory online ticket resellers employing bot automation.

This year's Advocate Day will focus on reforming the live event ticket marketplace to better protect artists and fans through legislation including the Senate’s Fans First Act and a similar House bill, the TICKET Act. The Fans First Act is an active effort of this year's GRAMMY on the Hill political honorees, John Cornyn (R-TX) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN.), who introduced the bill in 2023.

"We urge Congress to act on [the TICKET Act] quickly and continue its effort to protect both artists and fans by increasing transparency and limiting bad actors that take away from the joyous experience of live music," said Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr.

Read more: Ticketing Reforms Make A Big Leap In Maryland: Here's What You Need To Know

Deceptive trade practices in live event ticketing hurt consumers, performers, and small businesses across the country. Artists want to protect their fans from bulk resellers, bots, and predatory practices, while stakeholders in the secondary market want to restrict the ability of artists to tour and sell tickets the way that they want.

The Fans First Act and the TICKET Act will introduce comprehensive reforms that safeguard consumers from fake tickets, price gouging, and other deceptive practices, provide transparency in ticket pricing, and restore integrity to the ticketing marketplace.

"While fans suffer because of this broken system, so do artists" declares a collective statement of support from the Fix the Tix Coalition, which includes the Recording Academy as a founding member. "Predatory resellers view tickets as nothing more than commodities to be traded for outrageous sums, throwing away the cultural and communal value they provide for our society. They exist to undermine the hard work, talent, and livelihoods of artists, inserting themselves as unnecessary and unwanted middlemen who make their money off the backs of the artists and venues who partner to make these events happen."

The Recording Academy is advocating for congress to listen to the artists on the stage and pass meaningful, bipartisan ticketing reforms that protect consumers, elevate creative economic development, and restore trust in the ticketing experience for fans and artists. In fact just this past week, more than 300 artists, including dozens of GRAMMY winners and Recording Academy members, sent a letter to Congress in support of passing the Fans First Act. 

The Recording Academy invites members to engage in one of our actions here with the hope of creating positive change in the music industry. For non-members, your support means the world. Please use your voice to advocate for the rights of creators' and fans on these key issues so we can all enjoy the music we love so much. 

House & Senate Take Critical Steps Toward Ticketing Reform: Learn How