Legal Action Taken Against AI Music Platforms Suno and Udio by Record Companies in the US

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By Car Brand Experts

In an official move, the music sector has initiated a legal battle against Suno and Udio, two leading AI-based music creators. A consortium of record labels such as Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, and Sony Music Group has lodged complaints in US federal court on Monday, accusing them of substantial copyright violations.

The plaintiffs are seeking compensation of up to $150,000 per infringed piece. The litigation against Suno has been filed in Massachusetts, while the case against Udio’s parent company Uncharted Inc. was submitted in New York. Suno and Udio have not responded promptly to requests for comments.

“Sunset & Resonance,” as well as Udio, services that operate without licenses and claim that copying an artist’s extensive work for personal gain without consent or compensation is considered ‘fair’, are hindering the advancement of genuinely innovative AI technologies,” stated Mitch Glazier, Chair and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America.

The involved entities have not publicly revealed the training data used by their generators. Ed Newton-Rex, formerly an AI executive now engaged in ethical AI endeavors through the Fairly Trained nonprofit, has published detailed accounts of his experiments with Suno and Udio; Newton-Rex discovered the generation of music closely resembling copyrighted songs. In the complaints, the music labels assert that they were able to induce Suno to produce outputs mirroring copyrighted works by artists like ABBA and Jason Derulo.

One instance in the lawsuit mentions how the labels were able to produce songs highly similar to Chuck Berry’s 1958 hit “Johnny B. Goode” in Suno by utilizing triggers such as “1950s rock and roll, rhythm & blues, 12 bar blues, rockabilly, energetic male vocalist, singer guitarist”, along with fragments of its lyrics. One song almost exactly replicated the “Go, Johnny, go” chorus; the plaintiffs attached side-by-side transcriptions of the scores and argued that such similarities were feasible only because Suno had trained on copyrighted materials.

The Udio lawsuit includes similar instances, highlighting that the labels could generate multiple compositions resembling Mariah Carey’s enduring classic “All I Want for Christmas Is You.” It also features a comparative analysis of the music and lyrics, revealing that Mariah Carey soundalikes generated by Udio have already captivated public interest.

Ken Doroshow, the RIAA’s Chief Legal Officer, claims that Suno and Udio are attempting to mask “the extent of their infringements.” As per the Suno lawsuit, the AI entity did not deny the use of copyrighted materials in their training data when approached during pre-litigation discussions, revealing that the training data is deemed as “confidential business information.”

“Our innovation is transformational; it aims to produce entirely novel outputs, not to memorize and replicate existing content. This is why we prohibit user inputs referencing specific artists,” stated Suno CEO Mikey Schulman. “We would have gladly elucidated this to the corporate labels that have brought forward this lawsuit (we actually attempted to do so), but instead of engaging in a constructive dialogue, they have resorted to their conventional lawyer-driven procedures.”

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