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  • Kim Yun-a

[Music] Bruno Mars Sings Hype Boy (AI Cover)

No.165 / Sep 4, 2023

Recently, there has been a craze for cover songs using Artificial Intelligence (AI) on YouTube and social media. AI cover song uses AI to change the vocal of an existing song into the voice of another person. The video titled “Hype Boy – Bruno Mars” posted on YouTube in April made headlines for covering Newjeans’ songs with his inarticulate but accurate Korean pronunciation. The video currently has 2 million views and shows its popularity.

AI cover songs can be made so easily that even ordinary people can make them in 10 minutes. You can create a song by downloading the music that you want, separating the vocals from the accompaniment, and uploading the vocals to a professional site to select the voice of the singer you want. AI cover songs are gaining more popularity by not only imitating voices but also utilizing the singer’s own musical personality. The biggest advantage of AI cover songs is that you can listen to all the songs you want to hear with the voice of your favorite singer. It can also be a great advantage to be able to listen to new songs using the voice of the deceased, which can no longer be heard. Contrary to these advantages, AI cover songs pose a great threat to artists. In particular, the industry’s opposition to the unauthorized use of voice was greater than that of the composition sector. Universal Music said, “The artist’s voice is the most valuable part for their livelihood and image, and it is wrong to steal it whatever the intention is.” Singer Jungkook pointed out that AI cover songs were not sincere, while singer 10cm expressed forlorn, saying that AI easily copied the voice that he had worked on for decades. However, singer Dean responded positively to AI music, asking to listen to a cover song that uses his voice.

AI cover songs that use voices without permission, is it copyright infringement? In the legal community, the prevailing view is that AI cover songs infringe on the rights of the main character of the voice and the original singer. Accordingly, it warns of infringement of publicity rights. Publicity right is the right to allow celebrities, such as singers and movie stars, to use their names or portraits for advertisement, such as products. It is different from copyright in that it gives value to a person’s nature itself. Some say that AI cover songs can be copyright infringement on the original artist’s side because “Reproduction” occurs. In principle, edited videos and cover song videos with sound sources inserted may constitute copyright infringement if they do not have the permission of the copyright holder or do not constitute fair use. However, it is currently said that it is difficult to prevent the illegal theft of voice.

Currently, the “criticism” that AI cover songs are harmful creations that infringe on copyright and the “defense” that it is a new creation tailored to consumer needs coexist. As the popularity of AI cover songs and their completeness is increasing, it is necessary to discuss deeply to what extent AI use should be recognized. Experts say that legislation that can more clearly define the issue of infringement of rights is needed as there is no clear standard for whether AI creations should be viewed as works around the world.


By Kim Yun-a, AG Reporter

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