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Record Labels Take AI Music Makers to Court for Stealing Their Tunes

Major record labels sue AI music generators Suno and Udio for ripping off their artists' work without asking.

War on AI
War on AI

It looks like the music industry is picking a fight with Udio and Suno, two big names in AI music making. A bunch of heavy hitters like Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, and Sony Music Entertainment just slapped them with lawsuits on Monday, saying they're copying their stuff left and right.

These record companies want a ton of cash up to $150k for each song they generate. They're going after Suno in Massachusetts and Udio's parent company in New York. Neither Suno nor Udio had anything to say about it yet.

The music industry bigwigs are pretty ticked off. The head honcho of the Recording Industry Association of America, Mitch Glazier, says these AI companies are messing things up for everyone by ripping off artists' hard work without paying up.

Nobody really knows what these genuinely innovative AI companies trained their tech on. But this guy Ed Newton-Rex, who used to work in AI, says he's messed around with Udio and Suno, could make tunes that sound just like the famous tracks. The record labels say they did their own digging and could get the AIs to spit out stuff that sounds very similar to songs by artists in their catalog, such as Oasis, Ed Sheeran, Queen, Abba, Blink-182 and others. The Labels even give examples in the lawsuit. Like, they say they got Suno to make a song that's pretty much Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode" just by writing  some basic information about 50s rock and some lyrics. They say it even nailed the "Go, Johnny, go" part.

Udio and Suno
Udio and Suno

Same deal with Udio - the labels say they got it to make a bunch of songs that sound just like Mariah Carey's Christmas hit. People online have already been noticing how good Udio is at making fake Mariah songs.

The music industry folks say Suno and Udio are trying to hide what sound recordings they've used to train their AI model, and how much they've copied. When they asked Suno about it before suing, Suno supposedly just said their training data was a secret.

Suno's CEO, Mikey Shulman, fired back, saying their tech makes new stuff, not just copies. He says they tried to explain this to the labels, but the labels went straight for the lawyers instead of talking it out.

On April, 200 artists endorsed a public statement put forth by the Artist Rights Alliance, a nonprofit organization, urging artificial intelligence technology firms, creators, platforms, online music services, and platforms to refrain from utilizing AI tools to violate and diminish the rights of human artists.In May, Sony Music Group issued a notice to, over 700 ai generated music companies and streaming platforms, cautioning them against utilizing the music labels copyrighted content without obtaining consent and proper licensing. The communication indicated that there were suspicions that their material had already been utilized for the training, advancement, or commercialization of AI technologies without authorization. UMGs music publishing division filed a lawsuit against Anthropic, an AI company, in October for reasons specifically concerning the suspected plagiarism of song lyrics.

A lot of AI companies are in hot water over how they train their tech. They often say it's "fair use," which is a legal thing that sometimes lets you use copyrighted stuff. But the courts haven't decided if that flies yet. Big names like OpenAI are already dealing with a bunch of lawsuits about this.

It's not like the labels hate all AI, though. They're actually working with some AI companies on projects. It's just that they want to get paid when their stuff is used.

AI Music Generators
AI Music Generators

AI music startups could mess up the music community in a bunch of ways. Right now, they don't get any money when an AI makes a song that sounds like their artists' work.

In the end, the labels seem to think the only way forward is for AI companies to pay up and get proper licenses. They say AI and human musicians can work together, but only if everyone plays by the rules and respects copyrights.

Keywords: artist's life's work, own profit, group sony music entertainment, sound and lawful footing, unlicensed services like suno, promise of genuinely innovative, without consent or pay, generative ai systems, Music tips for artists: How much does Spotify pay per stream Visit our Spotify promotion campaign How to trigger Spotify's algorithmic playlists


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