• Musicians sell the rights to use NFTs to deeply fake their own sound

  • American musician and songwriter Holly Herndon appears to be using the principles of deepfake technology to allow fans to use digital versions of her songs to create original artwork, which they can then sell.

    According to an announcement Herndon tweeted on August 12, users who want to make their own deepfakes using the musician’s unique voice and image will have the opportunity to sell their creations using the non-fakeable token, or NFT, marketplace Zora.Herndon said fans can submit their digital copies, approved by the project’s DAO, and will receive any 50 percent of the auction profits.

    The project says it will initially release three “Genesis” Holly+ NFTs, along with submissions from the public, which will be cast using smart contracts and auctioned off at Zora next month. Users will receive half of any profits, with 40% going to the DAO and the remainder to Herndon himself. The base price for the two Genesis NFTs is 15 Ether (ETH) – about $48,150 at the time of publication.

    “Creating work with someone else’s voice is something to embrace,” Herndon said.” Anyone can submit artwork using my likeness.”

    Herndon’s digital twin – known as Holly+ – could have significant implications for artists looking to maintain control over their image and sound. While it seems unlikely that the musician’s first two NFTs could be mistaken for natural speaking or singing voices, deep forgery is often used to spread misinformation or otherwise manipulate the truth.

    In this case, a more authentic – and profitable – digital version of Herndon may emerge with the artist’s consent and encouragement, and as technology may improve in the future. Currently, the DAO provides checks for profiting from unapproved voice clips.

    “Vocal deep fakery is here to stay,” Herndon said for Holly+, released last month.” A balance needs to be found between protecting artists and encouraging people to try a new and exciting technology. That’s why we’re conducting this experiment in public voice ownership.”

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