State lawmakers across the country continue to pursue new legislation to regulate the use of artificial intelligence (“AI”), and especially the creation and distribution of AI-generated content (sometimes referred to as “deepfakes,” “synthetic content,” or “fabricated media”).  On March 21, 2024, Tennessee’s governor signed the Ensuring Likeness, Voice, and Image Security Act (“ELVIS Act”) (HB 2091), marking a new push by state lawmakers to protect the commercial interests of artists and musicians from AI-generated impersonations.

Protections for Name, Photograph, Voice, and Likeness.  The ELVIS Act replaces Tennessee’s Personal Rights Protection Act of 1984, establishing an individual property right in the use of one’s own voice, in addition to rights in a one’s name, photograph, or likeness.  The Act imposes civil liability on any person who publishes, performs, distributes, transmits, or otherwise makes publicly available a person’s voice or likeness while knowing that such use was not authorized by the individual.  In addition, the Act prohibits the knowing use of an individual’s name, photograph, voice, or likeness for advertising, fundraising, or soliciting donations or purchases without the depicted individual’s prior consent.  The Act requires the prior consent of a parent or guardian in the case of minors, or the prior consent of an executor, administrator, heir, or devisee in the case of deceased individuals. 

Liability for Content-Generating Software Tools.  In addition to imposing liability for certain uses of an individual’s name, photograph, voice, or likeness, the ELVIS Act also prohibits persons from distributing, transmitting, or otherwise making available an “algorithm, software, tool, or other technology, service, or device” if such tools have the “primary purpose or function” of producing the photograph, voice, or likeness of another without authorization.

Record Labels and Distributors.  Finally, the ELVIS Act provides that a claim may be brought by the individual, or any persons who have entered into (1) exclusive contracts for that individual’s services as a recording artist, or (2) contracts for exclusive licenses to distribute recordings of that individual’s audio performances.”

The ELVIS Act will come into effect on July 1, 2024.  We are closely monitoring these and related state AI developments as they unfold.  You can find a summary of key themes in AI bills introduced by state legislatures in the past year in our blog post here and a summary of recent state synthetic media and generative AI legislation in our blog post here.

We will continue to update you on meaningful developments related to artificial intelligence and technology regulation here and across our blogs.

Nicholas Xenakis

Nick Xenakis draws on his Capitol Hill experience to provide regulatory and legislative advice to clients in a range of industries, including technology. He has particular expertise in matters involving the Judiciary Committees, such as intellectual property, antitrust, national security, immigration, and criminal…

Nick Xenakis draws on his Capitol Hill experience to provide regulatory and legislative advice to clients in a range of industries, including technology. He has particular expertise in matters involving the Judiciary Committees, such as intellectual property, antitrust, national security, immigration, and criminal justice.

Nick joined the firm’s Public Policy practice after serving most recently as Chief Counsel for Senator Dianne Feinstein (C-DA) and Staff Director of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Human Rights and the Law Subcommittee, where he was responsible for managing the subcommittee and Senator Feinstein’s Judiciary staff. He also advised the Senator on all nominations, legislation, and oversight matters before the committee.

Previously, Nick was the General Counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee, where he managed committee staff and directed legislative and policy efforts on all issues in the Committee’s jurisdiction. He also participated in key judicial and Cabinet confirmations, including of an Attorney General and two Supreme Court Justices. Nick was also responsible for managing a broad range of committee equities in larger legislation, including appropriations, COVID-relief packages, and the National Defense Authorization Act.

Before his time on Capitol Hill, Nick served as an attorney with the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. There he represented indigent clients charged with misdemeanor, felony, and capital offenses in federal court throughout all stages of litigation, including trial and appeal. He also coordinated district-wide habeas litigation following the Supreme Court’s decision in Johnson v. United States (invalidating the residual clause of the Armed Career Criminal Act).

Phillip Hill

Phillip Hill is an attorney with deep experience in media, entertainment, sports, and technology. Phillip’s practice focuses on litigation, counseling, transactions, and regulatory matters in the fields of copyright, trademark, right of publicity, art, and cyber law. Phillip represents and advises clients in…

Phillip Hill is an attorney with deep experience in media, entertainment, sports, and technology. Phillip’s practice focuses on litigation, counseling, transactions, and regulatory matters in the fields of copyright, trademark, right of publicity, art, and cyber law. Phillip represents and advises clients in a wide range of industries, including music, media and entertainment, technology, metaverse, NFTs, video games, sports, live event production, film/television, theater, fashion, print publishing, visual art, consumer products, financial services, private equity, real estate, and healthcare.

Phillip is an active member of the American Bar Association, where he is the Chair of the Music and Performing Arts Committee. He also represents and advises non-profit corporations and individuals in a variety of pro bono matters, including songwriters and recording artists, music venues, orchestras, museums, comic book artists, micro-entrepreneurs, asylum applicants, and civil rights organizations. He also is active in educational efforts, including courses on “The Law of Music” at the New England Conservatory and Carnegie Hall, and Harvard Law School’s “CopyrightX” course.

Photo of Adrian Perry Adrian Perry

Clients in a variety of industries engage Adrian Perry in matters relating to the licensing, acquisition, development, sale, use, and commercial exploitation of intellectual property, technology and data. Mr. Perry has particular expertise advising clients with respect to content licensing and distribution issues…

Clients in a variety of industries engage Adrian Perry in matters relating to the licensing, acquisition, development, sale, use, and commercial exploitation of intellectual property, technology and data. Mr. Perry has particular expertise advising clients with respect to content licensing and distribution issues, including through digital and mobile platforms, and advising clients in sports, entertainment and media with respect to their technology transactions. A musician who has toured internationally, Mr. Perry brings to his legal practice significant experience in the entertainment and media industries. He has licensed his music for film and television, worked as an A&R consultant for a major record label for several years, and has experience in television production, spending two years working for a late night network comedy show. In addition to stand-alone intellectual property and technology transactions, Mr. Perry has advised clients on the intellectual property, privacy and technology aspects of private equity, M&A, joint venture, financing, and other corporate transactions. Mr. Perry is also a certified information privacy professional (CIPP/US).

August Gweon

August Gweon counsels national and multinational companies on data privacy, cybersecurity, antitrust, and technology policy issues, including issues related to artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies. August leverages his experiences in AI and technology policy to help clients understand complex technology developments, risks…

August Gweon counsels national and multinational companies on data privacy, cybersecurity, antitrust, and technology policy issues, including issues related to artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies. August leverages his experiences in AI and technology policy to help clients understand complex technology developments, risks, and policy trends.

August regularly provides advice to clients for complying with federal, state, and global privacy and competition frameworks and AI regulations. He also assists clients in investigating compliance issues, preparing for federal and state privacy regulations like the California Privacy Rights Act, responding to government inquiries and investigations, and engaging in public policy discussions and rulemaking processes.