April 19, 2024
AI Music Controversy

Ghostwriter’s ‘Heart on My Sleeve’ Eyes Grammy Nods Amid AI Music Controversy

According to a September 5 report in The New York Times, an anonymous producer known as “Ghostwriter” has put forward a viral track featuring an AI-generated vocal track by rapper Drake for potential consideration at the Grammy Awards.

The track, titled “Heart on My Sleeve,” has been officially submitted by the Ghostwriter team to the Recording Academy, the body overseeing the Grammys, with hopes of securing nominations in the Best Rap Song and Song of the Year categories, as confirmed by a representative. It’s important to note that in both of these categories, the Grammy is awarded to the songwriter, a detail affirmed by the ghostwriter representative, who clarified that a human was responsible for the songwriting process.

Earlier in 2023, the Grammys updated their award policy, indicating that music incorporating AI-generated elements is eligible for recognition. However, a crucial stipulation is that the category for which a track is nominated must pertain to the human-created portion of the song.

Harvey Mason Jr., the CEO of the Grammys, reaffirmed this policy, asserting that music featuring AI elements is indeed eligible for Grammy nominations. He emphasized to The New York Times that, from a creative standpoint, the track qualified because it was authored by a human. Mason also highlighted that the Academy evaluates whether the song is commercially available, a criterion outlined in Grammy regulations. To be eligible, a track must have “general distribution,” including availability on various streaming platforms.

Nevertheless, “Heart on My Sleeve” was withdrawn from major streaming services despite the debate surrounding its use of AI, which experts considered to be in a “legal gray area.” In April, Universal Music Group, a prominent record label in the industry, issued a mass email to leading streaming services, such as Spotify and Apple Music, requesting that they prevent AI services from extracting melodies and lyrics from copyrighted songs and remove any songs violating copyright.

Following this directive, Spotify reportedly intensified efforts to monitor and curtail tracks infringing on copyright on its platform while also taking measures to obstruct artificial streaming practices aimed at inflating play counts.

Image by freepik

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