TN Elvis Act

Tennessee Enacts ELVIS Act to Protect Artists from Generative AI Deepfakes

Image via The State of Tennessee Office of the GovernorTennessee has passed a new law aimed at protecting the state’s artists from unauthorized deepfakes of their images and voices. Governor Bill Lee signed the Ensuring Likeness Voice and Image Security Act of 2024 (ELVIS Act), named for the state’s most famous musical artist, accompanied by current Tennessee musicians, including Luke Bryan and Chris Janson, at a bar and live music venue.


“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,” Governor Lee said. “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.”

The ELVIS Act replaces Tennessee’s old Personal Rights Protection Act of 1984, which only incorporated legal protection for someone’s “name, photograph, or likeness.” That law was created to protect Elvis Presley’s publicity rights after he passed away. The law named after him widens those protections to include voices and generative AI-produced audio and visual creations. It also expands the definition of unauthorized use, covering any context, including documentaries, songs, or books.

The new law points to the growing trend of deepfake versions of celebrities created with generative AI tools, something global stars like Tom Hanks regularly issue warnings about encountering. The ELVIS Act rapidly garnered support from legislators, Tennessee musicians, and industry groups like the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and ASCAP since its introduction in January. The Human Artistry Campaign, a global group of entertainment organizations urging responsible generative AI deployment, also backed the bill.

“This incredible result once again shows that when the music community stands together, there’s nothing we can’t do,” RIAA CEO Mitch Glazier said. “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.”

This state-level move comes as federal lawmakers also explore legislation to address publicity rights concerns nationwide. Shortly after the introduction of the ELVIS Act, a bipartisan group in the US House revealed the No Artificial Intelligence Fake Replicas And Unauthorized Duplications Act (No AI FRAUD Act), aiming to protect individuals’ voices and likenesses at the federal level. On a distribution level, YouTube recently began a new policy requiring creators to disclose when they have used generative AI tools to produce synthetic or manipulated media that could be mistaken for reality.


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