SAG-AFTRA, Record Labels Reach Tentative Sound Recordings Agreement

LOS ANGELES (April 12, 2024) – SAG-AFTRA and leading record labels reached a tentative multiyear agreement on a successor contract to the SAG-AFTRA National Code of Fair Practice for Sound Recordings.

Covering the period starting Jan. 1, 2021, and ending Dec. 31, 2026, the agreement includes Warner Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Disney Music Group.

The SAG-AFTRA Executive Committee unanimously approved the tentative agreement on Wednesday, April 10. It will now be sent to members for ratification.

SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director & Chief Negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland said, “SAG-AFTRA and the music industry’s largest record labels have reached a groundbreaking agreement establishing, for the first time, collective bargaining guardrails assuring singers and recording artists ethical and responsible treatment in the use of artificial intelligence in the music industry. It is a testament to our mutual unwavering commitment to work together to safeguard the rights, dignity and creative freedom of our members.

“This agreement ensures that our members are protected. SAG-AFTRA stands firm in the belief that while technology can enhance the creative process, the essence of music must always be rooted in genuine human expression and experience. We look forward to working alongside our industry partners to foster an environment where innovation serves to elevate, not diminish, the unique value of each artist’s contribution to our rich cultural tapestry.”

The Record Label Negotiating Committee said, “We are pleased to reach this agreement with SAG-AFTRA and continue our strong partnership as we enter this exciting and fast-moving new era for music and artists. Together, we’ll chart a successful course forward, embracing new opportunities and facing our common challenges, strengthened by our shared values and commitment to human artistry.”

The artificial intelligence guardrails take effect immediately upon ratification. The terms “artist,” “singer,” and “royalty artist,” under this agreement only include humans. In this agreement, clear and conspicuous consent, along with minimum compensation requirements and specific details of intended use, are required prior to the release of a sound recording that uses a digital replication of an artist’s voice.

Additional highlights among the contract gains include increased minimums, health and retirement improvements, and an increase in the percentage of streaming revenue to be covered by contributions, among other gains.

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