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Assemblymember Kalra, SAG-AFTRA Introduce New Bill on Generative AI in Performer Contracts

Previously AB 459, AB 2602 mandates informed consent and proper representation for any transfer of the right to digitally replicate one’s likeness and performance

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO – Today, Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D-San José), SAG-AFTRA, and California Labor Federation, announce re-introduction of last year’s AB 459. AB 2602 seeks to regulate the use of generative artificial intelligence (AI) in employment contracts in the entertainment industry.


“To facilitate a timely and thorough discussion of the issue, we have reintroduced our bill to require informed consent and union or legal representation in contracts where performers are asked to give up the right to their digital self,” said Assemblymember Kalra. “Union-represented actors may now have a collective bargaining agreement that includes safeguards against AI, but other performers like voice actors for media such as audio books, video games, and more, deserve the same legal safeguards. AB 2602 will codify these critical labor protections and ensure performers maintain a seat at the table.”


Generative AI is capable of reproducing or creating content based on a performer's work, without their permission or compensation. Some contracts in the entertainment industry now include clauses that grant full use of a performer's voice and likeness forever. While the industry explores new opportunities with generative AI, performers must not be exploited or coerced into relinquishing their digital rights. AB 2602 does not prohibit the transfer of these rights in contracts, but rather ensures that performers give their informed consent and are represented by either a lawyer or union representative.


“The protection of voices and likeness from unauthorized digital replication is urgent. SAG-AFTRA believes individuals deserve control over the use of their digital selves. Licenses involving these rights must only be done with informed consent. Informed consent is key to protecting livelihoods and sustaining careers," said SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland. “Unjust, ill-informed transfers are unconscionable and exploitative. The stakes are too high. This legislation is needed now. CA can lead the way in protections in the age of AI.”


“With AI emerging in workplaces across every industry, we have to be vigilant about ensuring technology is a tool used to improve jobs, not destroy workers' livelihoods,” said Lorena Gonzalez, head of the California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO, representing 1,300 unions and 2.3 million union members across California. “To empower workers and prevent companies from exploiting an individual's unique image, AB 2602 is a worker-centered policy that would protect the right for creative performers to have a clear say in the use of their voice and likeness.”


Joint-authors of AB 2602 are Assemblymembers Bryan (D-Los Angeles) and Friedman (D-Glendale). Assemblymember Haney (D-San Francisco) is a principal co-author. The bill is also co-authored by Assemblymembers McKinnor (D-Inglewood) and Schiavo (D-Santa Clarita).




Assemblymember Ash Kalra represents California’s 25th Assembly District, which encompasses the majority of San José, including downtown and open space areas in southeast Santa Clara County. He was first elected in 2016, becoming the first Indian American to serve in the California Legislature in state history, and was re-elected to his fourth term in 2022. Assemblymember Kalra is the Chair of the Committee on Judiciary and also serves as a member on the Housing and Community Development, Local Government, and Natural Resources committees.