AI music generation

The three largest and most prominent record labels in the world are suing the companies behind Suno AI and Udio AI for massive copyright infringement related to training and operation of their core product.

Suno and Uncharted Labs were named in suits filed in New York and Massachusetts, charging the companies unlawfully reproduced music from the labels’ catalogs to train their AI systems. As a result of the use of the copyright material, the companies products stand to “saturate the market with machine generated content” which could “compete with, cheapen, and ultimately drown out the genuine sound recordings” the companies trained their AI with, according to the suit.

Suno and Uncharted Labs copied “decades worth of the world’s most popular sound recordings” in order to imitate them, the suits allege. “Neither Udio, nor any other generative AI company, can be allowed to advance toward this goal by trampling the rights of copyright owners.”

The suits cite a litany of examples of copyright recordings from well-known artists that seem to surface as a result of AI prompts in Suno and Udio, including Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” and ABBA’s “Dancing Queen.”

In a statement, RIAA Chief Legal Officer called these “straightforward cases of copyright infringement involving unlicensed copying of sound recordings on a massive scale.”

RIAA CEO and Chairman Mitch Glazier cited the industry’s embrace of AI and noted the music community was “already partnering and collaborating with responsible developers to build sustainable AI tools centered on human creativity that put artists and songwriters in charge.” Glazier condemned “unlicensed services like Suno and Udio” which, he says, “copy an artist’s life work and exploit it for their own profit.”

The suits by Warner, UMG and Sony ask the courts for a declaration indicating the defendants infringed upon the plaintiffs’ copyright IP, plus an injunction barring continued infringement and monetary damages.

Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels