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In-depth details About the Lawsuits Against Suno and Udio by RIAA

The music industry faces a dilemma as it grapples with the rapid advancement of technology. Label companies seek to balance innovation with protecting musical artists’ rights and creative interests. Today, we tackle a lawsuit that again brought controversy to the AI and music industries.

The recording industry’s three major label groups have made a major legal move—Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and Warner Music Group. These label companies have united with the support of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) to fight against AI companies Suno and Udio for copyright infringement.

They have accused the two AI start-ups of engaging in “willful copyright infringement at an almost unimaginable scale” by copying their music without authorization to train AI models. The lawsuit highlights the tension between technological progress and upholding artists’ legal rights. Let’s explore the key details and implications of this high-stakes legal battle.

What are Suno and Udio?

Suno and Udio are leading names in AI music creation. Both companies use large language models (LLM) and generative AI techniques to compose music. Both platforms allow users to generate songs based on text prompts, like “a jazz song about New York.” These AI models can create songs in various genres, using either user-written lyrics or AI-generated ones.

Suno launched in December 2023, partnering with Microsoft and recently securing $125 million in funding. Udio, which debuted on April 10, boasts investors like will.i.am, Common, and Tay Keith. It is said that Udio also created the viral song “BBL Drizzy,” used by Metro Boomin during Kendrick Lamar and Drake’s beef.

What Are the Labels Claiming?

The labels claim that Suno and Udio have infringed on their copyrights by using their extensive recorded music libraries to train AI models. Additionally, They argue that this process involved copying decades’ worth of the world’s most popular sound recordings to produce outputs that imitate genuine human sound recordings.

According to the lawsuits, Suno and Udio’s services can imitate copyrighted recordings when tested, indicating that they trained on the labels’ libraries. Specifically, the lawyers allege that Udio can imitate artists like Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson, ABBA, and Lin-Manuel Miranda, while Suno has generated songs imitating tags for Jason Derulo and producer CashMoneyAP.

Both companies have claimed “fair use” of the copyrighted music. Other AI companies, like Open AI, also used the same defense. However, the labels argue that Suno and Udio’s use does not qualify as fair use because it involves “imitative machine-generated music—not human creativity or expression,” which requires permission.

How Have Suno and Udio Responded?

Udio directed its spectators to a blog post, “AI and the Future of Music,” which did not directly address the cases filed against them. Udio explained that it trained its AI model on a large collection of recorded music but maintained that the ‘musical ideas’ it learned are not owned by anyone. Furthermore, the company emphasized that its technology focuses on generating new music, not reproducing copyrighted works or artists’ voices. Udio compared its AI to other music creation tools like synthesizers and drum machines, reaffirming its commitment to the technology.

Suno’s CEO, Mikey Shulman, discussed this with Billboard and stated that Suno does not allow users to reproduce copyrighted music. They insisted their technology is innovative and designed to create new musical outputs rather than simply replicating existing content. He noted that Suno does not permit prompts that reference specific artists. Shulman accused the labels of avoiding a “good faith discussion” and emphasized that Suno is built to enable the creation of new music and support emerging musicians.

The Gravity of Damages

The outcome of these lawsuits could have far-reaching implications for the music industry and the future of AI-generated music. The lawsuits demand three specific outcomes:

  • An admission from Suno and Udio that their AI models trained on the labels’ music libraries.
  • Injunctions to halt this training and any subsequent use of the copyrighted material.
  • Damages of up to $150,000 per song.

Given the scale of the alleged infringement, the damages could quickly add up to significant amounts. These cases further highlight the complex and contentious issues surrounding intellectual property rights, fair use, and the role of AI in creative industries.

What makes it a big deal?

Looking Ahead

These lawsuits represent the largest action taken against AI-generated music to date. The collaboration of all three major labels on these cases underscores the seriousness of the issue. Just last year, Universal Music Group sued Anthropic PBC, another AI music company, for copyright infringement, focusing specifically on lyrics. However, these new lawsuits are broader and could have major implications for AI and the music industry.

Various music industry groups have supported the lawsuits, including the Recording Academy, the Music Workers Alliance, and the National Association of Music Publishers. Furthermore, RIAA’s chairman and CEO, Mitch Glazier, emphasized that the fight is against unauthorized AI. He pointed out that the music community has embraced AI and is partnering with responsible developers to create sustainable AI tools centered on human creativity. However, he condemned unlicensed services like Suno and Udio for exploiting artists’ work without consent or compensation.

The resolution of these cases will likely set significant precedents for how AI technology is developed and used in the music industry. It is another step in ensuring that human creativity is respected and protected.

Resemble.ai stands firm as we uphold ethical principles and safeguard intellectual property rights. We train our AI models using the voices of individuals who have consented, and we implement deepfake detection technology to prevent unauthorized use. Our commitment to transparency, accountability, as well as respecting the rights of creators ensures that we contribute positively to the evolving field of AI technology.

How about you? What’s your stance on this matter?

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