Apple Music, other streaming services pull a song cloned from Drake and The Weeknd’s voices

Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, and Deeper have pulled a song cloned from Drake and The Weeknd’s voices, “Heart On My Sleeve,” according to the BBC. The article says it’s also in the process of being pulled from TikTok and YouTube, but some versions remain available.

The removal of the song follows criticism from publishers Universal Music Group (UMG), which said the song violated copyright law. The music publisher said platforms had a “legal and ethical responsibility” to prevent the use of services harming artists.

The BBC says the track simulates Drake and The Weeknd trading verses about pop star and actress Selena Gomez, who previously dated The Weeknd. The creator, known as Ghostwriter, claims the song was created by software trained on the musicians’ voices.

According to Vice, the incident “may be a watershed moment for AI-generated content in music and the ethical issues it raises.” In a TikTok comment, Ghostwriter claimed to be a ghostwriter in the music industry who “got paid close to nothing just for major labels to profit,” and so using AI to bootleg superstars was revenge of a sort.  

Shortly before “Heart On My Sleeve” went viral, UMG urged streaming services to prohibit artificial intelligence programs from using its copyrighted music to train themselves.

“We have a moral and commercial responsibility to our artists to work to prevent the unauthorized use of their music and to stop platforms from ingesting content that violates the rights of artists and other creators,” UMG said in a statement to the Financial Times. “We expect our platform partners will want to prevent their services from being used in ways that harm artists.”

Drake previously spoke out against an AI-generated cover of him rapping “Munch” by Ice Spice. In an Instagram story posted last Friday, Drake wrote, “This is the final straw AI” in response to the “Munch” dub.

Edward Klaris, a media lawyer and managing partner at Klaris Law, told NBC News that “Heart On My Sleeve”infringes on Drake and The Weeknd’s right of publicity, or the inherent right of an individual to control the commercial use of their likeness.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.