The ELVIS Act Has Officially Been Signed Into Law — First State-Level AI Legislation In the US

ELVIS Act signed
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ELVIS Act signed
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Photo Credit: Human Artistry Campaign

Tennessee passes the ELVIS Act, becoming a nation leader in voice and likeness protections in the AI era.

Just weeks after its introduction on January 10th, the bipartisan Ensuring Likeness Voice and Image Security (ELVIS) Act was signed into state law on March 21st by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee in Nashville, furthering the state’s leadership as an advocate for creatives’ rights. The ELVIS Act establishes strong protections for individual voice and likeness against unauthorized artificial intelligence-derived deep fakes and voice clones.

State Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson (R-27) and House Majority Leader William Lamberth (R-44) presented the ELVIS Act to unanimous General Assembly passage with a 93-0 vote in the House and 30-0 in the Senate. Throughout the legislation’s process, country guitarist Lindsay Ell, vocalist Natalie Grant, Evanescence co-founder David Hodges, Contemporary Christian artist Matt Maher, singer Chrissy Metz, songwriter Jamie Moore, RIAA SVP of Public Policy Jessie Richard, and Christian artist Michael W. Smith helped lobby for support, speaking to the potential harms of unchecked AI deep fakes and voice clones.

Also playing a critical role in the shaping of the legislation was Sound Credit CEO Gebre Waddell, who drafted an initial framework that evolved into the ELVIS Act.

“Fittingly named after one of the world’s most iconic voices, the ELVIS Act marks a history-defining moment — protecting us all from irresponsible and unethical AI. The Human Artistry Campaign applauds this strong, bipartisan effort to stop unauthorized AI-generated deep fakes and voice clones that steal essential parts of our individuality,” said Dr. Moiya McTier, Human Artistry Campaign Senior Advisor.

“The life’s work and irreplaceable contributions of the creative community to our culture deserve safeguards that allow AI technology to be used responsibly without violating anyone’s rights or appropriating their art.”

“From Beale Street to Broadway, to Bristol and beyond, Tennessee is known for our rich artistic heritage that tells the story of our great state. As the technology landscape evolves with artificial intelligence, I thank the General Assembly for its partnership in creating legal protection for our best-in-class artists and songwriters,” said Governor Bill Lee.

“The Recording Academy celebrates the passage of the ELVIS Act as a groundbreaking achievement in the effort to protect human creators in the age of AI. This milestone represents the power of collaboration, and it was a privilege to work with our partners in the Human Artistry Campaign, Governor Lee, and the Tennessee state legislature to move the ELVIS Act forward,” concluded Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr.

“Today is just the beginning — as AI continues to develop, the Recording Academy and our members will continue to support meaningful legislation across the country that uplifts music people and human creativity.”