Two months ago, an artist purportedly called ghostwriter courted controversy over the release of a track called, Heart on my Sleeve.
The track featured AI-generated vocals mimicking the voices of superstar artists Drake and The Weeknd. It was uploaded to YouTube and TikTok and went viral.
Via a third-party distributor, the track also made its way to streaming services such as Spotify and SoundCloud where it began to rack up streams by the hundreds of thousands. It was subsequently deleted by all of these platforms.
A confirmation of what triggered the takedown of the track, at least on one service, arrived on the holding page of ghostwriter’s now-defunct YouTube upload. It reads: “This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Universal Music Group.”
Apart from user-generated uploads containing the audio for the track, which you can still find on various platforms if search hard enough for it, a version of the track appears to be available to stream on a platform called WAVs AI, listed as a track by “DRAIK and the WKND”.
According to the play count on the platform at the time of writing, the track has been played 541,288 times (see below).
Described in a press release as an “AI music streaming platform”, WAVs AI also features tracks by the likes of “Ariana Granday”, “Freddie-mercurai”, “Eminaim” and many more AI versions of popular artists.
WAVs AI has also just raised $20 million from a New York-Headquartered investment company called Regal Investments.
In a press release announcing the funding, WAVs AI is described as “a rising star in the music tech scene” and that the startup is “making compromises with record labels and artists in the AI music revolution, harnesses the power of artificial intelligence to provide users with personalized creations of music, curated playlists, and a seamless discovery process”.
In that same press release, Regals’s CEO, Roble Regal, states: “I firmly believe that traditional music companies will be dethroned in the coming years by innovative AI-driven platforms”.
Commenting on the capital injection from Regal, Tyler Herrera, a “spokesperson” for WAVs AI, said in the press release that: “With Regal Investments’ support, we will continue to strike deals with artists and record labels, broaden our user base, and establish WAVs AI as a dominant force in the music streaming industry.”
The media statement claims further that, “with an astute understanding of the industry’s trajectory,” Regal Investments CEO, Roble Regal, “envisions a future where established companies will face formidable challenges from AI-powered platforms.
The release adds: “By investing in WAVs AI, Regal Investments aims to position itself at the forefront of this seismic shift, poised to reap the benefits of the next generation of music streaming.”
In the T&Cs section of WAVs AI’s website, the platform is described as “a music streaming marketplace that allows users to upload their own music content subject to certain guidelines”.
These Terms and Conditions stipulate that WAVs AI users, “may upload their music content” to the platform provided they adhere to the following guidelines:
- “The content must not infringe any third-party rights, including copyright, trademark, or privacy rights;
- “The content must not contain hate speech, violence, or any other harmful or offensive material;
- “The content must comply with all applicable laws and regulations;”
The website which features the slogan ‘Art, sound, and music re-imagined’ also features a section labeled “Copyrights” that claims the following:
“Music is a form of intellectual property protected and regulated by aspects of intellectual property law, including copyright laws and various licensing regulations. Together, these laws work to safeguard the rights of musicians, performers, producers, and others in the music industry as well as the music itself.
“A current issue in music law revolves around technological developments in online file-sharing systems that increase the prevalence of illegal distribution – that is, without the copyright owner’s permission – of protected music. Music law attempts to address this and other issues related to the dissemination of music, and to reconcile the protection of the rights of artists with the rights of consumers.
“Under US copyright law, music created by humans is protected by copyright from the moment of creation. However, when AI generates music, the question arises as to who owns the copyright for such music. As of now, there is no clear legal precedent or guidance for determining the copyright ownership of music generated by AI models.”
“We are thrilled to have Regal Investments as our strategic partner and investor.”
Tyler Herrera, spokesperson for WAVs AI
Commenting on the capital injection from Regal, Tyler Herrera, a spokesperson for WAVs AI, said in the press release that, “We are thrilled to have Regal Investments as our strategic partner and investor.
Herrera added: “This significant investment will enable us to propel our mission of revolutionizing the way people discover and engage with music.
“With Regal Investments’ support, we will continue to strike deals with artists and record labels, broaden our user base, and establish WAVs AI as a dominant force in the music streaming industry.”
“The music industry is on the cusp of a revolution, driven by advancements in artificial intelligence.”
Roble Regal, Regal Investments
Also in the press release, Roble Regal, CEO of Regal Investments, added: “The music industry is on the cusp of a revolution, driven by advancements in artificial intelligence.
“I firmly believe that traditional music companies will be dethroned in the coming years by innovative AI-driven platforms.
“At Regal Investments, we are committed to identifying and supporting groundbreaking ventures that disrupt conventional norms. Our investment in WAVs AI reflects our determination to lead the way in this transformative era.”Music Business Worldwide