Sen. Edly-Allen

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Mary Edly-Allen passed a measure through the Senate to protect artists if their songs or likeness are stolen through the means of artificial intelligence (AI).

“In the last few years, we have seen an explosion of AI tools and AI generated content, often created and distributed without authorization,” said Edly-Allen (D-Libertyville). “While AI is a powerful tool with the potential to do much good, guardrails are necessary to protect artists and the general public. I’d like to thank the numerous groups that worked in collaboration to ensure this measure is effective including the Motion Picture Association, TechNet, the Software Alliance and more.”

House Bill 4875 would create a private right of action for the artist or music studio to sue when a digital replica of the individual was disseminated or made available publicly without authorization of the artist or music studio.

The initiative takes a balanced approach in dealing with the issue of the unauthorized use of digital replicas by protecting artists’ ability to control their voice, image and likeness while still providing necessary exemptions to allow for artistic creation. Additionally, the measure targets bad actors while also providing safe harbor for those who unknowingly contribute to the distribution of such content.

“Recording artists and musicians have never had an easy path, especially starting out. Their economic situation has gotten more precarious since the advent of Generative Artificial Intelligence, which can recreate their likeness and voice to create new content without their involvement or knowledge,” said State Representative Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz (D-Glenview). “HB 4875 gives artists a path to restitution when their likeness is used to generate profit without their authorization.”

House Bill 4875 passed through the Senate on Friday and awaits further action.