AI music generators Suno and Udio are being sued by major US record labels

The music industry, including major record labels Sony Music and Universal Music Group, have declared their intent toward artificial intelligence companies Suno and Udio, suing them for mass copyright infringement.

The AI music generators have been accused of using the labels’ recordings to train their systems to create content that will “directly compete with, cheapen, and ultimately drown out” human artists’ work, according to federal lawsuits filed in New York against Udio, and served on Suno in Massachusetts.

Under the umbrella of the Recording Industry Association of America, the plaintiffs are seeking up to $150,000 per piece of work infringed.

A press release from the industry collective stated, “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.”

It continued, “These are straightforward cases of copyright infringement involving unlicensed copying of sound recordings on a massive scale.”

Strongly refuted claims

The music generators have not publicly disclosed exactly what their systems were trained on but in response, Suno CEO Mikey Shulman said in a statement, “Our technology is transformative, it is designed to generate completely new outputs, not to memorize and regurgitate pre-existing content.”

Udio has not provided an immediate response to requests for a comment on the action against them.

The claims that there is no direct correlation between the AI-generated content and existing music, have been strongly refuted. The record labels’ (which also included Warner Records) complaints outlined how Suno and Udio users have been able to replicate aspects of songs such as The Temptations’ ‘My Girl’, Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You’ and James Brown’s ‘I Got You (I Feel Good),’ and could generate vocals that are “indistinguishable” from artists such as Bruce Springsteen and ABBA. 

Image credit: Via Ideogram

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Graeme Hanna