SAG-AFTRA proudly supports the Human Artistry Campaign’s core principles for Artificial Intelligence Applications in support of Human Creativity and Accomplishment and today reaffirmed its position on digital voice, likeness and performance simulations. The terms and conditions involving rights to digitally simulate a performer to create new performances must be bargained with the union. In addition, any use or reuse of recorded performances is limited by our collectively bargained contract provisions, including those requiring consent and negotiation of compensation.
These rights are mandatory subjects of bargaining under the National Labor Relations Act. Companies are required to bargain with SAG-AFTRA before attempting to acquire these rights in individual performers’ contracts. To attempt to circumvent SAG-AFTRA and deal directly with the performers on these issues is a clear violation of the NLRA.
Additionally, Global Rule One, a fundamental principle of the union stating that SAG-AFTRA members must always work under a union contract anywhere they work, covers entering into any agreement with an employer to digitally simulate a member’s voice or likeness to create a new performance. As such, members should not assign these rights to any employer who has not executed a basic minimum agreement with the union.
Human creators are the foundation of the creative industries and we must ensure that they are respected and paid for their work. Governments should not create new copyright or other IP exemptions that allow AI developers to exploit creative works, or professional voices and likenesses, without permission or compensation. Trustworthiness and transparency are essential to the success of AI.
SAG-AFTRA will continue to prioritize the protection of our member performers against the unauthorized use of their voices, likenesses and performances. We are in frequent contact and actively collaborate with other performers unions around the world on these important issues. We follow the newest developments in AI technology, its uses in the entertainment and media industries, and the evolving legal landscape. We will continue to negotiate and enforce provisions around these technologies and their uses so employers and performers can work collaboratively.
Members who believe that employers are asking them to surrender AI rights should email their agreement to email@example.com. The union will investigate and take appropriate steps to protect members based on the specific circumstances. Please also email us with any questions regarding authorizations, riders or improper uses.