NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The music industry admits the rapid rise of artificial intelligence has them scared for their future.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers is drafting legislation that aims to rein in this emerging technology. But the Nashville music industry says it can go even further. 

The digital age hasn’t been all that kind to the music world. First—piracy. Then, low streaming rates. And now a new threat—songs produced by artificial intelligence. Meaning the songs look and sound like your favorite artist, but they are essentially made by a computer.

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Bart Herbison, Executive Director of the Nashville Songwriters Association International, said he’s frustrated with what he’s seeing. “This stuff is getting better and better and better. That’s why we’ve got to have some rules to regulate it. And that’s why we applaud this bill that’s been introduced by Senator Blackburn and others.” 

Republican U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn is backing bipartisan legislation called the No Fakes Act.  If passed, it would require AI to have consent from artists, and collect damages. 

“Songwriters, actors, and our incredibly talented creative community deserve the right to own their name, image, and likeness (NIL),” Blackburn said in a media release, where the senator also called the No Fakes Act “a good first step.” 

Herbison agreed the federal law could be a good tool for the music industry, but he would also like to see it require permission, payment, and AI to maintain a record in perpetuity.

“I promise you that the tech folks that are creating this that don’t agree that you should have permission and payment, if we were somehow appropriating their code and streaming it, they would change their tune. It’s very self-serving and it’s very short-sighted,” said Herbison. 

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Keep in mind, this still has a ways to go at the federal level. It’s simply called a discussion draft at this point. 

The Nashville Songwriters Association International said it will be releasing new details on AI in the coming weeks.