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Adams and Reese Artificial Intelligence Team Leader Jin Yoshikawa was interviewed by Managing IP in a story on Tennessee’s recent passage of the ELVIS Act (Ensuring Likeness Voice and Image Security) into law on March 21, 2024. Managing IP is a global legal and business news website for intellectual property professionals.

Tennessee has become the first state to enact legislation introducing new safeguards for the voices of songwriters, performers, and celebrities from artificial intelligence and deepfakes.

The ELVIS Act will go into effect on July 1, 2024. Previously, Tennessee law did not explicitly include voice as a protected right, along with name, photograph, and likeness. Further, the law only protected such rights from unauthorized use in advertising. This landmark legislation amends the Personal Rights Protection Act of 1984 to add “voice” as a protected personal right and expands protection of such personal rights against all unauthorized uses.

The Tennessee entertainment industry supports more than 61,000 jobs across the state, contributes $5.8 billion to the GDP, and fills over 4,500 venues.

The legislation comes at a time in which the use of AI to generate audio, video, and photo imitations of musicians, politicians, and private individuals, in the context of entertainment, sexual harassment, fraud, and election interference, is on the rise.

Yoshikawa said in the Managing IP interview that Tennessee law firms have started to receive questions about the ELVIS Act, and that there has also been internal discussions on how clients are impacted by the new legislation.

Click here to read the Managing IP article

Yoshikawa is a leading member of the Adams and Reese Global Intellectual Property practice.  He focuses on federal trademark and anti-counterfeiting cases in courts throughout the United States, trademark cases before the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeals Board, and other cases involving IP rights. He has years of experience serving diverse and global clients, including multinational pharmaceutical companies, doctors and hospital systems, beverage manufacturers, tech ventures, advertising agencies, and online content providers. Yoshikawa received his Bachelor of Science from Columbia University, studying Computer Science with a specialty in AI. He received his law degree from Vanderbilt University, where he served as the editor in chief of the Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law and received a Scholastic Excellence Award in Professor Daniel Gervais’s class, Robots, AI & the Law.