HomeWinBuzzer NewsMusic Giants Sue AI Music Startups Suno and Udio Over Copyright Infringements

Music Giants Sue AI Music Startups Suno and Udio Over Copyright Infringements

The lawsuits contain an extensive list of copyrighted songs that the record labels claim were used to train the models.

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Music giants Universal Music Group (UMG), Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Records and other record labels, have filed lawsuits against AI developers Suno and Udio, accusing them of widespread copyright infringements. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has laid out claims seeking damages of up to $150,000 per infringed work along with additional legal costs.

Lawsuits Target Unauthorized Use

The lawsuits against Suno, filed in the Boston federal court, and Udio, filed in New York, allege that AI music startups have utilized copyrighted music without securing necessary licenses. Suno, which collaborates with Microsoft's Copilot, and Udio, which was used to create the viral AI-generated track “BBL Drizzy” from a creator called “Metro Boomin”,  are accused of generating songs by copying music from a variety of artists.

The lawsuits allege that Udio and Suno have been intentionally vague about what specific content they've copied, implying deliberate copyright infringement. The record labels claim they were repeatedly able to replicate famous tracks they own the rights to, with various examples cited in the legal filings.
  

Examples of Alleged Infringement

The lawsuits contain an extensive list of copyrighted songs that the record labels claim were used to train the models. This list includes work from artists such as The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, and Bruce Springsteen. The record labels constructed this list by using specific prompts in the music generators and comparing the outputs to their copyrighted songs. They have also submitted a thumb drive containing AI-generated music that they claim infringes on their content.

For instance, using the prompt “1954 rock and roll Billy Haley Comets” in Suno produced outputs that the labels argue directly mimic Bill Haley's style and melodies. A song generated by Suno titled “Jason Derulo” reportedly features an imitation of the R&B artist Jason Derulo singing his name in his recognizable style.

Another track by Udio, “Subliminal Hysteria” created with the prompt “pop punk American alternative rock California 2004 Rob Cavallo,” is said to closely resemble Green Day's “American Idiot,” including a direct lyrical copy of the entire first verse before transitioning to a generic chorus. An exhibit in the Udio court case provides a detailed list of Udio outputs resembling copyrighted recordings.
 
Udio court case - outputs resembling copyrighted recordings

The lawsuit notes in the case of AI tracks created in the style of Bruce Springsteen that, “even the biggest Bruce Springsteen fan would have trouble distinguishing between the real “Boss” and the vocals in the Udio outputs “Reveries of the Boss” and “Throne of Stone”.

RIAA's Position and Company Responses

Ken Doroshow, RIAA's chief legal officer, characterizes these cases as clear examples of large-scale unauthorized copying. The plaintiffs claim that Suno and Udio haven't implemented adequate safeguards to prevent the use of copyrighted material within their AI systems. Suno states that their training data is confidential, while Udio offers similar defenses.

 “These are straightforward cases of copyright infringement involving unlicensed copying of sound recordings on a massive scale. Suno and Udio are attempting to hide the full scope of their infringement rather than putting their services on a sound and lawful footing. These lawsuits are necessary to reinforce the most basic rules of the road for the responsible, ethical, and lawful development of systems and to bring Suno's and Udio's blatant infringement to an end”, writes RIAA Chief Legal Officer Ken Doroshow in the association´s press release.

Implications for Music Industry

The lawsuits illustrate an ongoing struggle between the music industry and AI technology firms. The surge in AI-generated music is raising alarms around the economic effects on human artists and control over how their work is used in AI-produced content. Previously, UMG sued Anthropic for distributing copyrighted lyrics via its Claude 2 large language model.

The lawsuit accuses Anthropic of using UMG's songs to make new music. Anthropic's website states that its AI models can create original music in different genres and styles, depending on user choices. Users can also send their own audio files and have the AI models change them or add new features. The lawsuit claims that Anthropic's service relies on UMG's songs, which are legally protected.

Recognition of Legal Risks by Companies

Suno's leadership and investors have acknowledged the legal challenges involved. An early investor in Suno, Antonio Rodriguez, told Rolling Stone that the company needed to build its product without the limitations of label agreements. AI firms typically keep their training data sources confidential, a practice that has led to lawsuits against companies like by authors and news organizations.

Platforms such as and YouTube have faced issues connected to AI-generated music as well. Earlier this year, UMG forced TikTok to remove its artists' tracks due to licensing conflicts tied to AI. YouTube has created a removal system for AI-generated music at rights holders' requests, and Sony Music has issued warnings about unauthorized use of copyrighted material for .

Markus Kasanmascheff
Markus Kasanmascheff
Markus is the founder of WinBuzzer and has been playing with Windows and technology for more than 25 years. He is holding a Master´s degree in International Economics and previously worked as Lead Windows Expert for Softonic.com.