Inductee Eminem performs on stage during the 37th Annual Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Microsoft Theater on November 05, 2022 in Los Angeles, California (photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic).
An AI Eminem Rap About Cats Was Taken Down by Major Record Label
Universal Music Group has threatened a copyright infringement takedown against a YouTuber who used AI to make an Eminem-voiced parody.
No, that wasn’t Eminem rapping about cats. YouTube creator Grandayy recently created an AI-generated song using ChatGPT and the rapper’s voice, which Universal Music Group didn’t find humorous. Instead of being entertained by the cat parody, the record label issued a DMCA takedown notice to Grandayy.
\u201cUniversal Music Group just decided to copyright strike my AI Eminem Cat Rap video. Usually they just claim and monetize videos like this but they really wanted AI Eminem to be taken down for some reason.\u201d— Dr Grandayy (@Dr Grandayy) 1680444584
As mentioned by Motherboard, the song’s lyrics include “cats cats cats they’re always on the prowl/they’re sneaky and sly, with their eyes on the goal.” In March, John Oliver also featured the YouTube video on Last Week Tonight in a segment about AI.
Grandayy, who now has one copyright strike, is presumably shaken up by UMG’s threat, as other YouTube creators have faced serious results around their parodied content. Some copyright three strikes include a total ban of a creator’s YouTube channel and erasure of their videos. Grandayy’s Eminem video can no longer be played on the video-sharing platform.
“I definitely think it was an extreme reaction, especially considering the fact that they didn't just block the video but they also sent a DMCA takedown, which gives my YouTube channel a strike,” Grandayy said to Motherboard. "Since AI blew up in a relatively quick manner, the laws surrounding it are still ambiguous, so legally it's difficult to say for sure if they even have the right to block AI-generated content or not."
Other AI content creators have recently used Kendrick Lamar, Drake, JAY-Z, and Kanye West for voice replication. While some have considered the technology innovative, others consider it alarming for the music industry’s future.