Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Files Copyright Strikes Against YouTube
Hip-hop mogul Jay-Z is currently in a battle against YouTube, specifically one creator on the site that is using Jay-Z’s voice and hip-hop flow to rhyme classics like William Shakespeare’s “To Be or Not to Be” soliloquy from Hamlet and Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” The mogul has become a source of inspiration within the growing community of artificial intelligence-powered impersonations, commonly known as deepfakes, and the rap mogul and his record label have taken notice of the trend and issued copyright strikes to content creators to shut some of it down.
Roc Nation LLC, Jay-Z’s entertainment agency, filed copyright strikes against the YouTube uploads of multiple deepfake channels. The notices cite that Artificial Intelligence is being used, with Roc Nation writing,“this content unlawfully uses an AI to impersonate our client’s voice,” according to XOXO festival co-founder Andy Baio’s conversations with the creator on his website Waxy. The anonymous goes by the online handle Voice Synthesis. The channel itself has nearly 40,000 subscribers, and the videos on the channel have racked up hundreds of thousands of views.
There were two other deepfake videos that were not taken down by YouTube. Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire” is copyrighted, but Shakespeare’s works are public domain. YouTube has reinstated the deepfake videos stating that the removal requests were incomplete. The legality of deepfakes are still in question. Some states like California have banned political candidates from broadcasting deepfakes to their audience in order to influence an election. Many social platforms — such as Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter — all have deepfake bans that cover a variety of content, mostly to prohibit manipulated or deceptive videos or audio that’s designed to cause harm.
In recent Roc Nation news, the agency recently acquired the Ball brothers, LaMelo, Lonzo, and LiAngelo. The brothers are joining the representation of Roc Nation Sports. Jermaine Jackson, who is LaMelo Ball’s manager told ESPN that there were several agents in line to represent the likes of the trio, however, Jay-z’s influence made an impact,
“We talked to several agents, but the family had good vibes with Roc Nation. I’ve known Jay-Z since I played for the Knicks, but this is what the kids wanted to do. Jay-Z is a master at what he does. He’s global. It’s power beyond power.”
Jay-Z and Roc Nation Sports currently represent several talented NBA players including the likes of Kyrie Irving, Andre Ward, Danny Green, and more. To add, the popular agency reps players from the NBA, to MLB, boxing, and even rugby.
What are your thoughts about Roc Nation trying to remove deepfake videos of Jay-Z from the internet? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.