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RIAA files lawsuits against Udio and Suno

RIAA files lawsuits against Udio and Suno

RIAA Lawsuits

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has filed lawsuits against AI startups Udio and Suno. The RIAA claims these companies illegally used copyrighted music to train their AI models. Udio and Suno allow users to generate songs from prompts.

The songs have instrumentation and vocal performances that sound very real. Suno launched in December and quickly made a deal with Microsoft. Udio launched this year with backing from Andreessen Horowitz and musicians like Will.i.am.

The RIAA says generative AI threatens the business model of record labels. They argue that AI-soundalike music could flood the market with copycats. This would hurt the established sample licensing business.

The RIAA wants damages of $150,000 per infringing work. The RIAA’s suit compares AI-generated songs to existing works. It highlights similarities in musical phrases and notations.

RIAA’s legal battle with AI startups

However, the RIAA’s main claim is about the use of copyrighted music to train the AI, not specific tracks infringing copyright. A key question is whether Udio and Suno’s use of copyrighted music can be considered fair use.

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Fair use allows copyrighted material to be used to create a new or transformative work. The RIAA says Udio and Suno can’t claim fair use because their outputs replace real recordings, are made for money, involve a lot of copying, and threaten the labels’ business. Legal experts say the startups may have a strong fair use argument if the copyrighted works were temporarily copied and turned into the AI model’s weights.

They say this process is like a musician learning by playing music. But a judge or jury will ultimately decide this question. These lawsuits are important for the AI industry.

They raise big questions about AI, copyright, and fair use. The legal battles could change how AI companies can use copyrighted material. They could set important precedents for industries that rely on AI technology.

We are likely at the start of a long legal process. It will shed light on these complex issues and shape how AI firms operate in the future.

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