Tech Giants Pursue Hollywood Content Licensing for AI Video Generation

Hollywood Studios Explore AI Licensing Deals with Tech Giants | Enterprise Wired

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Source – Bloomberg

Alphabet Inc. and Meta Platforms Inc. have reportedly engaged in discussions with major Hollywood studios regarding the licensing of content for their artificial intelligence (AI) video generation software. Sources familiar with the matter revealed that both tech giants are developing technology capable of generating realistic scenes from text prompts and have offered substantial sums, reaching tens of millions of dollars, to partner with studios in some capacity. Similarly, rival OpenAI, supported by Microsoft Corp., is also exploring similar conversations. Alphabet, Meta, and OpenAI declined to comment on the ongoing talks.

Hollywood Studios Weigh AI Integration for Cost Reduction and Content Protection

Hollywood studios are showing interest in leveraging AI to cut production costs while safeguarding their intellectual property. However, they remain cautious about granting tech companies access to their content without control over its usage. Recent incidents, such as Scarlett Johansson’s objection to OpenAI using a voice resembling hers in its chatbot, highlight studios’ concerns over content protection. Notably, News Corp. recently struck a deal with OpenAI, potentially valued at over $250 million, allowing the use of content from its publications.

Mixed Responses from Major Studios

While Warner Bros. Discovery Inc. has signaled readiness to license select programs for AI training, other major players like Walt Disney Co. and Netflix Inc. are hesitant to license their content directly. Instead, they are exploring alternative forms of collaboration. Hollywood studios are already incorporating AI in production, with filmmakers like Tyler Perry and Robert Zemeckis utilizing AI for makeup recreation and digital de-aging, respectively.

AI’s Impact on Hollywood Labor and Regulatory Concerns

AI tools like OpenAI’s Sora and Alphabet’s Veo are generating excitement and anxiety in Hollywood, prompting discussions about potential job displacement and labor regulations. Tyler Perry, in particular, has advocated for industry-wide regulations to address AI’s impact on labor, warning of its potential consequences if left unregulated. The music industry has taken a firm stance against AI use, with Universal Music Group NV suing AI startup Anthropic and Sony Music Group cautioning partners against training AI models on its music.

Navigating Complexities in Licensing and Creative Approval

As licensing discussions progress, Hollywood executives are wary of potential tensions between studios and creative partners. Issues may arise regarding the rights to license movies and the involvement of actors in AI model training. While no major studio has yet sued a tech company over AI, concerns persist over the unauthorized use of copyrighted material. Studios aim to find a balance between leveraging AI’s potential benefits and protecting their creative assets, but significant commercial agreements with tech giants remain elusive.

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