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Tennessee Imposes New Liability on AI Providers


As the legal landscape related to the use of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies continues to develop, Tennessee has given providers of generative and other AI technologies another reason to tread carefully.

As of July 1, 2024, under the Ensuring Likeness Voice and Image Security Act, commonly referred to as the ELVIS Act, they may be subject to civil liability and injunctions for the unauthorized use of a person’s voice in AI-generated content. The Elvis Act extends protections specifically to address the emergent challenges posed by AI technologies to songwriters, performers, and music industry professionals. It makes Tennessee the first U.S. state to legislate against unauthorized AI impersonations of musicians, setting a precedent for other states and potentially at the national level in the face of rapidly advancing digital impersonation technologies.

Specifically, the law prohibits the use of AI to replicate an artist's name, image, likeness, or voice without explicit permission, addressing a gap in the existing law that protected names, photographs, and likenesses but which previously did not extend to AI-generated voice imitations.

This legislation reflects a significant evolution in the legal framework as lawmakers across the country study and seek ways to address allegations by content creators of exploitation, identity theft, and intellectual property infringement in the AI age. If you have questions, please contact the author, Matt San Roman.