RIAA lawsuit against generative music startups: The AI bloodbath begins

RIAA lawsuit against generative music startups: The AI bloodbath begins

Analysis of Music Piracy Lawsuits Filed Against Suno and Udio


The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has filed lawsuits against Suno and Udio for indiscriminately pillaging music history to train a music-generating Artificial Intelligence (AI) model without the permission of music labels. The RIAA claims that Udio and Suno ingested music it owns, and their AI models “generated” lightly garbled versions of original songs. This action has put us in an uncomfortable position of rooting for the RIAA, which has been an infamous bogeyman in the digital media for decades. It’s an intellectual issue to be discussed at length given the complexity and haziness of the concept of fair-use in execution.

Details of the Lawsuit

The RIAA’s legal suit against Udio and Suno specifies that their AI models have recreated entire works, which fundamentally goes beyond the intended safe harbor of fair-use doctrine. Fair-use only comes into play in the unauthorised use of a work. The companies’ offhand admission to using large amounts of high-quality music without consent from the copyright owners violated the law. And regurgitating copyrighted works, garbled albeit, has opened up a new avenue for relief for the court to grant an injunction against the AI companies’ business operation. Attorneys agree that Udio and Suno’s use of copyrighted music strays somewhat outside the intended safe harbor.

Consequences of the Lawsuits

The lawsuits against Udio and Suno could have far-reaching consequences. The companies could be forced to expose their training data and methods, and by extension, show concrete evidence of whether they added copyrighted works. A possible outcome could be an attempt to settle or avoid trial, and or an injunction issued by the courts against Udio and Suno, leading to a step-down in the quality of their AI-generated music leading to a loss of users.


The Udio and Suno case seems a foregone conclusion, and it will undoubtedly affect the investment climate for generative media startups. Investors will need to do more due diligence before investing in new generative machine learning models to avoid costly lawsuits. We can’t anticipate litigation strategies by other generative AI companies, but this lawsuit will be a lesson to all those engaging in unethical practices and violating copyright laws.

Originally Post From https://techcrunch.com/2024/06/25/the-riaas-lawsuit-against-generative-music-startups-will-be-the-bloodbath-ai-needs/

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