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Music record labels sue AI song-generators Suno and Udio for copyright infringement

BOSTON (AP) — Big record companies are suing artificial intelligence song-generators Suno and Udio for copyright infringement, alleging that the AI music startups are exploiting the recorded works of artists from Chuck Berry to Mariah Carey.

The Recording Industry Association of America announced the lawsuits Monday brought by labels including Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Records.

One case was filed in federal court in Boston against Suno AI, and the other in New York against Uncharted Labs, the developer of Udio AI.

Suno AI CEO Mikey Shulman said in an emailed statement that the technology is “designed to generate completely new outputs, not to memorize and regurgitate pre-existing content” and doesn't allow users to reference specific artists.

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Shulman said his Cambridge, Massachusetts-based startup tried to explain this to labels “but instead of entertaining a good faith discussion, they’ve reverted to their old lawyer-led playbook.”

Udio didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

RIAA Chairman and CEO Mitch Glazier said in a written statement that the music industry is already collaborating with responsible AI developers but said that "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.”

AI has been a heated topic of conversation in the music industry, with debates ranging from the creative possibilities of the new technology to concerns around its legality. In March, Tennessee became the first U.S. state to pass legislation to protect songwriters, performers and other music industry professionals against the potential dangers of artificial intelligence. Supporters said the goal is to ensure that AI tools cannot replicate an artist’s voice without their consent.

The following month, over 200 artists signed an open letter submitted by the Artist Rights Alliance non-profit calling on artificial intelligence tech companies, developers, platforms, digital music services and platforms to stop using AI to infringe upon and devalue the rights of human artists.

The Associated Press