Major record companies in US sue music services using artificial intelligence


Major record companies in the US are suing two multi-million-dollar music generation services, Suno and Udio, for using artificial intelligence (AI). 

Suno and Udio are facing two copyright infringement cases based on the mass infringement of copyrighted sound recordings that are copied and exploited without permission, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) said Monday in a statement.

The plaintiffs in the cases are music companies that hold rights to sound recordings, which include Sony Music Entertainment, UMG Recordings, Inc., and Warner Records, Inc.

The claims cover recordings by artists of multiple genres, styles and eras, according to the statement by the RIAA — a trade organization that represents the music recording industry in the US.

“The music community has embraced AI and we are already partnering and collaborating with responsible developers to build sustainable AI tools centered on human creativity that put artists and songwriters in charge,” RIAA Chairman and CEO Mitch Glazier said in the statement. “But we can only succeed if developers are willing to work together with us.”

“Unlicensed services like Suno and Udio that claim it’s ‘fair’ to copy an artist’s life’s work and exploit it for their own profit without consent or pay set back the promise of genuinely innovative AI for us all,” he added.

RIAA Chief Legal Officer Ken Doroshow said the cases of unlicensed copying of sound recordings are on “a massive scale.”

“These lawsuits are necessary to reinforce the most basic rules of the road for the responsible, ethical, and lawful development of generative AI systems and to bring Suno’s and Udio’s blatant infringement to an end,” he added.

R&B parady song BBL Drizzy, which was released May 5 and went viral last month, was created using Udio — a generative AI model that allows users to create music from simple text prompts by specifying topics, genres and other descriptors which are then transformed into tracks, according to its website.

Suno, meanwhile, consists of a team of musicians and AI experts. Suno AI is a generative AI music program that can create realistic songs, while it uses OpenAI’s ChatGPT to generate lyrics. The company announced last month it raised $125 million in funding.

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