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JAY-Z Fails In Attempt To Remove Youtube Deepfake Audio Impersonation

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 25: Jay-Z attends 2020 Roc Nation THE BRUNCH on January 25, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Roc Nation)

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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 25: Jay-Z attends 2020 Roc Nation THE BRUNCH on January 25, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Roc Nation)

As you go deep into the worldwide web you tend to find all kinds of videos. Some fans may have been thinking off first hearing that Jay Z may have been rapping certain rhymes that were attributed to Billy Joel and Shakespeare. “Deepfakes” crafted with artificial intelligence are throwing a wrinkle into the murky world of copyright law. JAY-Z and Roc Nation filed a takedown request against YouTube channel Vocal Synthesis for impersonating Hov’s likeness with AI-generated deepfakes.

The creator of the channel trained text-to-speech program Tacotron 2 to mimic Hov’s voice and eventually attracted the attention of the man himself. Check out the computer-generated model reciting Bill Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire” and “To Be or Not To Be” from Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

After receiving the takedown notice, Vocal Synthesis quickly responded with another deepfake featuring Barack Obama and Donald Trump.

“Unfortunately, for the first time since the channel began, YouTube took down two of these videos yesterday as a result of a copyright strike,” read Trump’s computerized voice. “The strike was requested by Roc Nation LLC, with the stated reason being that it, quote, ‘unlawfully uses an AI to impersonate our client’s voice.’”

The two videos were initially taken down but eventually reinstated as YouTube investigates.

“After reviewing the DMCA takedown requests for the videos in question, we determined that they were incomplete,” a Google spokesperson told The Verge. “Pending additional information from the claimant, we have temporarily reinstated the videos.”

Interestingly, other videos featuring Jigga’s likeness remained on the channel while the two in question were removed. The account also features the AI Hov “rapping” verses from the Book of Genesis and a popular Navy Seal copypasta that has circulated the internet for years. The page also uploaded a fifth video where the automated voice raps the “Darth Plagueis” copypasta.