Entertainment NewsSAG-AFTRA Sound Recordings Code 2024 Explained: Everything You Need to Know

SAG-AFTRA Sound Recordings Code 2024 Explained: Everything You Need to Know


SAG-AFTRA Introduces New AI Agreement for Singers: A Step Towards Ethical Use of

Groundbreaking Deal with Major Record Labels

In a significant development for the music , SAG-AFTRA has announced a tentative agreement with major record labels including Warner Music Group, Sony Music , Universal Music Group, and Music Group. This agreement, revealed last , is set to establish ethical and responsible guidelines for the use of artificial intelligence in replicating singers' voices.

A Closer Look at the Agreement

Under this new deal, part of the Sound Recordings Code, singers will have a say in whether their voices can be used to create AI-generated tracks. The agreement not only requires explicit consent from the artists but also ensures they are compensated fairly. Specifically, the deal mandates a minimum payment rate for AI replication of session singers' voices, equating to three “sides” per —a “side” being the payment for one audio track up to 4 minutes and 30 seconds.

Implications for Royalty Artists and AI Training

Interestingly, the agreement differentiates between session singers and “royalty” artists. Royalty artists, who traditionally earn through record sales rather than session fees, do not have a specified AI minimum payment under this agreement. Additionally, the deal does not require consent for using singers' performances to train AI models, nor does it specify any minimum payment for this type of use.

Union's Perspective on AI and Artist

SAG-AFTRA emphasizes that the intention behind the new terms is not to prohibit AI but to ensure that artists can license their voices without risk of exploitation. This reflects a broader trend in the where unions seek to protect professionals from potential overreach brought about by new technologies.

Financial Protections for Artists

The agreement also stipulates that if labels release music using synthetic voices, they must still make royalty payments to a union distribution fund. This fund collects revenue from music platforms, ensuring that artists continue to receive compensation, even when their actual voices are not used in the tracks.

Next Steps: Ratification Process

Details of the agreement were further clarified on , and SAG-AFTRA has called for its members to vote on ratifying the agreement by April 30. This vote is crucial as it will finalize the terms and bring them into effect, marking a new era of digital rights management in music.


The new agreement between SAG-AFTRA and major record labels represents a pivotal moment in the intersection of technology and artist rights. As AI continues to evolve, the need for clear and fair regulations in its application in the arts becomes increasingly important. This agreement is a proactive step towards ensuring that advancements in AI technology are managed in a way that respects and compensates the artists whose talents fuel the music industry.

Brent Edward
Brent is an experienced Entertainment News reporter.


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