Music Industry Sues AI Music Generators Suno and Udio Over Copyright Infringement


A group of music labels, including Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, and Sony Music Group, has filed lawsuits against Suno and Udio, two prominent AI music generators, alleging massive copyright infringement. The lawsuits, filed in US federal court, seek damages up to $150,000 per work infringed.

The plaintiffs claim that Suno and Udio have generated music that “bears a striking resemblance” to copyrighted works by artists such as ABBA, Jason Derulo, Chuck Berry, and Mariah Carey. According to the complaints, the labels were able to prompt Suno to produce songs that match copyrighted works using specific prompts. For example, one prompt generated a song extremely similar to Chuck Berry’s 1958 hit “Johnny B. Goode.”

The lawsuits also claim that Suno and Udio have used copyrighted materials in their training data, which the companies have refused to disclose. Recording Industry Association of America chair and CEO Mitch Glazier stated that unlicensed services like Suno and Udio set back the promise of genuinely innovative AI for the music industry.

The lawsuits highlight the concerns over the training data used by AI music generators and whether they are truly original or simply copying from existing works. Many leading generative AI companies are facing intense scrutiny over how they train their tools, and the court system will need to determine whether these companies are protected by the “fair use” doctrine.

Ed Newton-Rex, a former AI executive, has written extensively about his experiments with Suno and Udio, finding that he could generate music that sounds similar to copyrighted songs. Newton-Rex is now the executive director of the ethical AI nonprofit Fairly Trained.

Kate Knibbs
Kate Knibbs
Kate Knibbs is a senior writer covering culture. She was previously a writer at The Ringer and Gizmodo.

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