Recording Industry Sues AI Music Generation Tools for Copyright Infringement - ParrotGPT

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) just dropped a legal bombshell on the AI music generation world.

The organization has filed major lawsuits against two prominent AI music generation companies: Suno AI and Uncharted Labs, Inc. (developer of Udio). These tools use AI to create hyper-realistic music from simple text prompts, often mimicking the style of specific artists.

Filed on behalf of Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, and Sony Music Entertainment, the lawsuits allege both companies are unlawfully training their AI models on massive amounts of copyrighted sound recordings.

The lawsuits claim the AI-generated music from Suno and Udio sounds remarkably similar to copyrighted tracks. In some cases, they allege the tools are even reproducing authentic producer tags and vocals indistinguishable from famous recording artists.

The stakes? Potentially billions. The RIAA is seeking damages of up to $150,000 per infringed work.

So, how in the wrong are Suno and Udio? And what does this mean for the future of AI-generated music?

I got the scoop from Marketing AI Institute founder/CEO Paul Roetzer on Episode 103 of The Artificial Intelligence Show.

The companies aren’t hiding their actions

“They’re admitting to doing what they’re accused of,” says Roetzer. “They’re not hiding from the fact that they are doing the stuff that they’re being accused of within these lawsuits.”

Udio, for instance, released a statement defending their approach:

“Generative AI models, including our music model, learn from examples. Just as students listen to music and study scores, our model has ‘listened’ to and learned from a large collection of recorded music.”

The question is whether what they’re doing is actually illegal, or if they believe they can bend existing laws to fit their vision of the future.

Suno and Udio’s defense

As a result, the companies argue that their goal is to develop an understanding of musical ideas—the basic building blocks of musical expression that are owned by no one.

“We are completely uninterested in reproducing content in our training set, and in fact, have implemented and continued to refine state-of-the-art filters to ensure our model does not reproduce copyrighted works or artists’ voices,” Udio claimed in a post on X.

Suno has released statements echoing this sentiment as well.

Ask for forgiveness, not permission

Part of the disconnect here stems from the Silicon Valley approach to disruptive innovation.

Roetzer highlighted a post on X from Bilawal Sidhu, an ex-Google project manager and host of the TED AI Show. In it, Sidhu breaks down the situation and says:

Otherwise the Silicon Valley dictum applies: don’t bother asking for permission, ask for forgiveness later. Keep making the case that your usage is transformative, and then as your startups raises more money, retroactively strike licensing deals with the parties whose content you trained on, much like OpenAI.

This approach, Roetzer notes, is likely to continue until courts definitively rule on whether training generative AI models on copyrighted material is considered fair use.

What happens next?

As we wait for legal clarity, these lawsuits are likely to keep coming. Roetzer predicts that until there’s a definitive ruling—potentially from the U.S. Supreme Court—AI companies will continue to push the boundaries of copyright law.

“This is going to keep happening,” says Roetzer. “These AI startups will continue to take everything available on the internet. They will claim fair use and transformative purposes. The people whose content it is will sue them for doing it.”

 

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