If Freddie Mercury sings Let It Go…

One of the standout moments during my AI workshops is when I show a YouTube video of Freddie Mercury singing “Let it Go.”

Until that moment, it seems that most people have only read about AI without truly understanding its implications. Then, everything changes. Using the voice of a deceased artist to perform one of the most famous Disney songs can have unexpected effects. In my workshops, it’s Freddie, but you could also have Sinatra singing ABBA and Metallica, or songs in the style of Oasis.

Years ago, my main examples were Aiva and Huawei’s experiment with Schubert’s unfinished symphony. But now, with generative AI, the examples are way more impactful (and potentially limitless). As the potential grows, some artists are embracing its use, some are apprehensive, and others are deciding what to do. For me, I love change, but I struggle with chaos. This feels like a combination of both.

As a lawyer, an author, and a musician (not necessarily in that order), the current situation represents a personal and ethical dilemma because different parts of me are in conflict. From a theoretical perspective, I’ve always been a strong supporter of the personality theory. The artist (or artists) should decide what to do with her artistic work, even if it means society might lose something marvelous.

However, I have my doubtful moments when I hear songs like this, or when I find myself humming Johnny Cash’s version of “Barbie Girl.

Copyright is a delicate balance, and this is probably the reason why I am still fascinated with it after all these years. There’s the law (which can also be ambiguous, but that’s another story). However, the law is just one piece of the pie. Because together with law there’s the society, the market, the art, and more. Sometimes, going against the law could be convenient for economic or political reasons, sometimes not.

In the theoretical world, what we see is a clear depiction of a conflict among welfare theory, cultural theory, labor theory, and personality theory. Practice makes it even more complicated.

As with most of my blog posts, I don’t know what is right or wrong, but I know that “Barbie Girl” sung by Johnny Cash is really cool.

Maybe that’s what matters.

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