A 'Fake Drake' Song Using Generative AI Was Just Pulled From Streaming Services The computer-generated track "heart on my sleeve" went viral over the weekend until Universal Publishing yanked it, raising legal and ethical questions.

By Jonathan Small

Photo by Prince Williams/Wireimage)

You may have heard a new song by pop sensations Drake and The Weeknd pop on social media last weekend.

The song "heart on my sleeve," about The Weeknd's ex-girlfriend Selena Gomez, went viral racking up more than 20 million views on Twitter, and 11 million views on TikTok.

Only one problem — none of it was real.

The song was created by an anonymous TikTok musician named Ghostwriter977 using AI-generated replicas of the artists' voices.

Universal Music Group (UMG) was not amused. The publishing company had all music streaming platforms pull the deepfake track on Monday. It was yanked from YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, Amazon, SoundCloud, Tidal, and Deezer earlier today.

In a statement, UMG said using generative AI in their artists' music "represents both a breach of our agreements and a violation of copyright law."

The music publisher added that it had a "legal and ethical responsibility to prevent the use of their services in ways that harm artists.

Related: The Future Founder's Guide to Artificial Intelligence

Legal and ethical questions raised

Using AI to replicate an artist's vocals infringes on their IP, but it's unclear whether the Fake Drake song violated copyright laws since the musical composition was original.

"We're all waiting for some court's decision that's going to tell us whether training data is OK or not OK," said Edward Klaris, Media Lawyer at Klaris Law told NBC News. "Here, they're using all the pre-existing songs to create new songs."

He added that "the Supreme Court could decide it's not copyright infringement because it's transformative … or they could say something different, like: 'It is a copyright infringement. You can't just take people's songs and copy them to make new songs that sound just like that.'"

Aside from the song's legalist, UMG questioned the ethics of those who create and consume songs like "heart on my sleeve."

"It begs the question as to which side of history all stakeholders in the music ecosystem want to be on: the side of artists, fans, and human creative expression, or on the side of deep fakes, fraud, and denying artists their due compensation."

Jonathan Small

Entrepreneur Staff

Editor in Chief of Green Entrepreneur

Jonathan Small is editor-in-chief of Green Entrepreneur, a vertical from Entrepreneur Media focused on the intersection of sustainability and business. He is also an award-winning journalist, producer, and podcast host of the upcoming True Crime series, Dirty Money, and Write About Now podcasts. Jonathan is the founder of Strike Fire Productions, a premium podcast production company. He had held editing positions at Glamour, Stuff, Fitness, and Twist Magazines. His stories have appeared in The New York Times, TV Guide, Cosmo, Details, and Good Housekeeping. Previously, Jonathan served as VP of Content for the GSN (the Game Show Network), where he produced original digital video series.

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