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March 22, 2024 | News Articles

ELVIS Act Becomes Law as Tennessee Leads the Nation

Creative Community Applauds Modern Voice & Likeness Protections in AI Era

Governor Bill Lee Signs Landmark Bill During Nashville Press Conference with 
Multi-Platinum Country Stars Luke Bryan and Chris Janson

Pictured (L-R): House Majority Leader William Lamberth (R-44), Luke Bryan, Governor Bill Lee, Chris Janson, RIAA CEO/Chairman Mitch Glazier & State Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson (R-27)

(Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Human Artistry Campaign)

Pictured: (L-R) Jordan Hamlin, Mitch Glazier, Maggie Rose, Jackie Jones, Jessie Richard, Harper Grace, Matt Maher, Natalie Grant, Bernie Herms, Morna Willens and Erin Burr

(Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Human Artistry Campaign)

NASHVILLE, TN (March 21, 2024) – Often progress takes time, but mere weeks since its January 10 introduction, the bipartisan “Ensuring Likeness Voice and Image Security (ELVIS) Act was signed into law earlier today by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee at legendary lower Broadway honky-tonk Robert’s Western World in Nashville. The ELVIS Act establishes strong protections for every person’s unique voice and likeness against unauthorized artificial intelligence (AI) deepfakes and voice clones.

“This incredible result once again shows that when the music community stands together, there’s nothing we can’t do. We applaud Tennessee’s swift and thoughtful bipartisan leadership against unconsented AI deepfakes and voice clones and look forward to additional states and the US Congress moving quickly to protect the unique humanity and individuality of all Americans,” said Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) Chairman & CEO Mitch Glazier. 

Five-time Entertainer of the Year and American Idol judge Luke Bryan addressed the crowd saying, “what an amazing precedent to set for the state of Tennessee. The leaders of this are showing artists who are moving here following their dreams that our state protects what we work so hard for, and I personally want to thank all of our legislators and people who made this bill happen. It’s hard to wrap your head around what is going on with AI, but I know the ELVIS Act will help protect our voices.”  

Nashville Harbor Records & Entertainment/Harpeth 60 Records’ chart-topping singer/songwriter Chris Janson expressed his appreciation noting, “It’s a pleasure to be here today. If it weren’t for moving to this town and busking up and down the street begging for a gig, I would not be where I am today. It takes real leadership, and it takes a real team coming together to protect us. I came here wanting a voice, wanting to be heard and to sing in a Lower Broadway honkytonk. Do you know what that means to a kid from the Midwest or South Florida or all of these other cities around the world? It means they made it, and now we need to protect our voices from AI-generated deepfakes using our voices, our dreams. I love what I do, I’m so grateful for my job, and I’m grateful for leadership who cares. Thank you for passing the ELVIS Act today!” 

Other prominent members of the music community – many who have lent support from the beginning – were on hand to celebrate the ELVIS Act, including Natalie Grant; Bernie Herms; Matt Maher; Maggie Rose; Wendy Moten; Drew Baldridge; Harper Grace; Tennessee Entertainment Commission chair Gebre Waddell; Stax Music Academy/Stax Museum’s Pat Mitchell Worley and Isaac Daniel; Sam Phillips Recording’s Jerry Phillips; Tora Tora’s Anthony Corder and Recording Academy Memphis Chapter Trustee Ken Shepherd.

“Fittingly named after one of the world’s most iconic voices, the ELVIS Act marks a history-defining moment – protecting us all from irresponsible and unethical AI. The Human Artistry Campaign applauds this strong, bipartisan effort to stop unauthorized AI-generated deepfakes and voice clones that steal essential parts of our individuality,” said Dr. Moiya McTierHuman Artistry Campaign Senior Advisor“The life’s work and irreplaceable contributions of the creative community to our culture deserve safeguards that allow AI technology to be used responsibly without violating anyone’s rights or appropriating their art.”

State Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson (R-27) and House Majority Leader William Lamberth (R-44) shepherded the ELVIS Act to unanimous General Assembly passage (93-0 vote in the House of Representatives and 30-0 in the Senate). Throughout the process, Country guitar-slinger Lindsay Ell, five-time Dove Awards Female Vocalist of the Year Natalie Grant, BMI Awards-winning songwriter/producer/Evanescence co-founder David Hodges, nine-time GRAMMY® Awards-nominated Contemporary Christian artist Matt Maher, singer/actor/author Chrissy Metz, hit songwriter/NSAI Board Member Jamie Moore, RIAA SVP of Public Policy Jessie Richard and legendary Christian artist Michael W. Smith spoke to the potential harms of unchecked AI deepfakes and voice clones.

From Beale Street to Broadway, to Bristol and beyond, Tennessee is known for our rich artistic heritage that tells the story of our great state. As the technology landscape evolves with artificial intelligence, I thank the General Assembly for its partnership in creating legal protection for our best-in-class artists and songwriters,” said Governor Bill Lee.

As Tennessee cements the fundamental rights all people should have to their likeness and voice, the U.S. Congress has also seen some federal progress with Senators Coons’ and Blackburn’s NO FAKES proposal and Representatives Salazar’s and Dean’s No AI FRAUD Act working towards a national response to unauthorized digital replicas and AI-generated voice clones. GRAMMY® Award-winning Country artist Lainey Wilson and Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr. as well as nearly 300 actors, artists, musicians and songwriters co-signing these basic yet necessary protections. See here.

View the full press release here.