Major record labels sued two startups for training Artificial Intelligence models with their songs

Major record labels sued two startups for training Artificial Intelligence models with their songs
Major record labels sued two startups for training Artificial Intelligence models with their songs

The biggest record labels have sued Suno and Uncharted Labs for misuse of AI (Illustrative Image Infobae)

Old record labels of the world sued two artificial intelligence (AI) companiesadopting an aggressive stance to protect their intellectual property In front of one technology that facilitates music generation from existing songs.

The Recording Industry Association of America filed two lawsuits on Monday, June 24, against Suno AI and Uncharted Labs Inc, creator of Udio AI, on behalf of Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment.

The lawsuits allege that the companies are illegally training their AI models with massive amounts of copyrighted sound recordings. The RIAA, which groups record labels, requests compensation of up to $150,000 “per infringed work.” This could amount to billions of dollars.

“The music community has adopted the AIand we are already partnering and collaborating with responsible developers to build sustainable AI tools focused on human creativity that puts artists and composers in charge“, said Mitch Glazierexecutive director of the RIAAit’s a statement.

The RIAA requests compensation of up to $150,000 per infringed work (Illustrative Image Infobae)

“But we will only succeed if the developers They are willing to collaborate with us. Unlicensed services such as Suno and udio who claim that it is ‘fair’ to copy the life’s work of a artist and exploit it for their own benefit without consent or payment set back the promise of genuinely innovative AI for us all.”

Suno and Udio are two of the startups using generative AI to automate the music creation process. Users can type a brief instruction, such as “an electro-pop song about strawberries,” and either company’s software will spit out human-sounding music in a matter of seconds. To create their AI systems, companies must first train their software with huge data sets, which can be made up of many millions of individual pieces of data.

Founded in 2022, Sunobased in cambridge, Massachusetts, launched its music creation software last year and raised 125 million dollars in May. udiocreated by former Google DeepMind researchers and engineers and based in New York, presented a version “beta” of its software in April and raised 10 million dollars in financing.

Suno and Udio are accused of illegally training their AI models with protected music (Illustrative Image Infobae)

Both offer users the ability to create some songs for free, as well as monthly subscriptions to those who want to create more.

The music industry’s legal challenge is just the latest example of a collision between technology and the creative industries, as generative AI is increasingly used to produce all types of content.

Companies like Midjourney, OpenAI, and Stability AI built their media-generating AI models with data sets that pull images from the internet. Although they argue that this practice is protected by the fair use doctrine of US copyright law, it has sparked outrage and lawsuits.

In the music industryartists and record labels see in the AI a potential threat. Hundreds of musicians, including Billie Eilish, Miranda Lambert and Aerosmithsigned in April a open letter through the non-profit organization Artist Rights Alliancein which they urged AI developers, tech companies and others to end its use “to violate and devalue the rights of human artists.”

The RIAA seeks to protect intellectual property against generative AI technology (Illustrative Image Infobae)

At the same time, the record labels They strive to balance the creative potential of this rapidly evolving technology with the protection of the rights of artists and their own benefits.

According to the lawsuit against Udio, “artificial intelligence holds promise and danger.” “As more powerful and sophisticated AI tools emerge, the potential for AI to be integrated into music creation, production and distribution processes increases. If developed with the permission and participation of copyright holders, generative AI tools will be able to help humans create and produce new and innovative music.”

But those same tools, if not deployed responsibly, also risk creating “irreparable harm” to artists, labels and the industry, “inevitably reducing the quality of new music available to consumers and diminishing our culture”.

When BloombergNews asked them in April, nor Suno neither udio They wanted to specify what their security systems are based on. artificial intelligence. The co-founder and CEO of Udio, David Ding, said the company used data publicly available on the Internet. “We try to cast our net as far as possible so we can represent all the musical traditions in our model,” Ding said at the time.

AI startups like Udio have raised millions to develop their music creation models (File)

The co-founder of Suno, Mike Shulmanstated in April that training data is, in some ways, even more important than how the company builds its AI software, “so we guard that secret quite jealously.” Shulman also said Suno’s practices are “legal” and “pretty in line with what other people are doing.”

Music generated with the Services may, at times, sound remarkably similar to copyrighted music. Ed Newton-Rex, executive director of the nonprofit Fairly Trained, which certifies AI models trained on copyrighted data, says he found it easy to generate a series of songs using both companies’ software that They sounded very similar to artists like Queen, Abba, Oasis, Blink-182 and Ed Sheeran.

In Monday’s lawsuits, the RIAA states that in some of the music coming from Suno and udio authentic producer labels appear, and that people using the services have generated sounds very similar to numerous songs created by artists, such as My Girlof The Temptations, American Idiotof green Dayand All I Want for Christmasof Mariah Carey.

They have also produced voices that are indistinguishable from those of famous artists, such as Lin-Manuel Miranda, Bruce Springsteen and Michael Jacksonaccording to RIAA.

Record labels strive to balance technological innovation and the protection of their rights (REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji)

Shulman said Suno was thinking about how to eventually compensate music artists for their work, but that “right now there’s no good way to do it.” “We work very closely with attorneys to make sure what we are doing is legal and industry standard,” he said in April. “If the law changes, we would obviously change our business one way or another.”

The music industry wants to get ahead of the technology before it is too late and has already warned AI startups.

In October, UMG’s music publishing division sued Anthropic, a generative AI company, over similar claims, focusing in particular on the alleged copying of song lyrics. In May, Sony Music sent a letter to more than 700 AI companies and streaming services warning them not to use the record label’s copyrighted material without explicit permission and license.

He said he had reason to believe that his content had already been used to train, develop or market AI systems without your permission. The RIAA alleges that Suno and udiowhether through an investor or internal executives, have essentially admitted to using copyrighted material to develop their models.

The music industry fights against the unauthorized use of its works by AI developers (AP/Eugene Hoshiko)

One of the first investors of Suno stated that he probably would not have invested in the company if he had struck deals with record labels when he started, according to the complaint. He said defending himself against the lawsuits was a necessary risk.

According to Pamela Samuelsonexpert in digital copyright and professor of Law of the University of California in Berkeleythe companies of Generative AI They have plausible arguments to defend against misuse of works as training data.

But he said courts might view music differently than they would other works such as computer code, text or images. “The type of data could be important,” says Samuelson. “I could see courts making distinctions based on that.”

The case against Suno was presented at the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts and the case against Uncharted Labs was presented at the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.

©2024 Bloomberg

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