summary Summary
  • Added Udio's statement
  • Added RIAA statement

Update June 26:


Udio has issued a detailed response to the lawsuit. As expected, the company argues fair use, transformative use of data, and that Udio is a tool for creative people.

"Generative AI models, including our music model, learn from examples. Just as students listen to music and study scores, our model has 'listened' to and learned from a large collection of recorded music," the startup states.

Udio sees itself following in the footsteps of earlier music innovations like synthesizers or digital recording technology, which faced initial skepticism but ultimately advanced art and business.


The AI startup emphasizes that its technology is aimed at creating new musical ideas, not reproducing copyrighted works or artists' voices, stating that "we are completely uninterested in reproducing content in our training set."

However, the key criticism in the lawsuit is not about reproduction, but about training on unlicensed data to acquire those music generation skills. Udio's response does not directly address the content of its training sets or how it acquired that data. In fact, the word "data" is not even mentioned in Udio's statement, although it is a central issue in the lawsuit.

Suno AI has not yet commented on the lawsuit.

Update June 25:

The RIAA has released a statement and examples of alleged copyright infringements due to similarity. Lawsuits have been filed against Suno, Inc., developer of Suno AI, in federal court in Massachusetts, and against Uncharted Labs, Inc., developer of Udio AI, in federal court in New York.


According to the RIAA, both services copied and used copyrighted sound recordings on a large scale without permission to train their AI models.

RIAA Chairman Mitch Glazier emphasized that the music industry generally welcomes AI and works with "responsible developers" to use it as a tool for artists. However, services like Suno and Udio, which operate without a license, would hinder progress.

The RIAA accuses Suno and Udio of specific plagiarism of songs by well-known artists, including Jason Derulo, Jerry Lee Lewis, and CashMoneyAP. Udio has already removed the tracks in question.

According to the RIAA, a prompt with a modified spelling of Mariah Carey's name results in a Mariah Carey clone song. Udio deleted the song. | Bild: RIAA

The RIAA argues that AI companies must obtain permission from rights holders and cannot claim fair use because AI-generated content does not represent human creativity, adding that unauthorized use of copyrighted music for AI training threatens the value of protected recordings.

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Original article from June 24:

Music labels slam AI startups Suno and Udio with massive copyright lawsuit

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, and Sony Music have filed a lawsuit against AI music companies Suno and Udio, alleging massive copyright infringement.

According to Billboard, the major labels accuse the startups of infringing on copyrighted sound recordings "at an almost unimaginable scale."

The lawsuit claims Suno and Udio illegally copied recordings from the labels to train their AI models. The goal, according to the plaintiffs, is to generate music that would "saturate the market with machine-generated content that will directly compete with, cheapen and ultimately drown out the genuine sound recordings on which [the services were] built."

The labels allege that the companies illegally appropriated decades' worth of music industry data. Suno recently claimed its model can generate "radio quality" songs, which seems to support the labels' argument that AI music generators will compete directly with their offerings, rather than just being a tool for musicians.

The labels are seeking an injunction to stop the companies from using copyrighted songs for training purposes, as well as damages for existing copyright infringements. Suno and Udio have not yet responded to the allegations.


AI industry needs first major fair use ruling

The case seems similar to the numerous lawsuits against makers of large image, voice, and code models. Plaintiffs argue that using their content without consent for AI training to create competing products violates copyright.

Model makers invoke "fair use," claiming transformative use of data where an AI system learns from, rather than copies, data - similar to how humans learn from texts to write new ones.

The fair use argument is complicated by instances where models produce plagiarized content. Courts will need to determine whether these generated copies are flaws in the models or part of their functionality, and whether their frequency justifies banning AI models or requiring royalties.

The music labels address the fair use argument in their complaint, stating that fair use applies in limited scenarios promoting human expression. They argue that Suno and Udio produce machine-generated music imitations.

In April, AI developer Ed Newton-Rex accused Suno AI of strongly imitating well-known hits in style, melody, harmony, or instrumentation. While Suno blocks prompts with artist names, small spelling mistakes or precise descriptions of a certain style can bypass this protection.

"The doctrine of fair use promotes human expression by permitting the unlicensed use of copyrighted works in certain, limited circumstances, but [the services] offe[r] imitative machine-generated music—not human creativity or expression."

There's still no definitive ruling on fair use, but this lawsuit by major players in the music industry against two relatively small AI startups could set a much-needed precedent for the broader AI industry.


If you are looking for a copyright-free audio generator, take a look at the recently released Jen. The model is trained only on licensed content, and it pays royalties to artists, according to its creators.

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  • The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and major music labels Universal, Warner, and Sony have filed a lawsuit against AI music companies Suno and Udio for alleged copyright infringement.
  • The labels accuse Suno and Udio of illegally copying recordings to train their AI models, generating music that competes directly with the original sound recordings. They seek an injunction and damages for the alleged infringements.
  • This case is similar to other lawsuits against AI companies, with the central issue being whether AI training on copyrighted material falls under "fair use" or constitutes infringement. The music industry's lawsuit could potentially set a precedent for the AI industry.
Online journalist Matthias is the co-founder and publisher of THE DECODER. He believes that artificial intelligence will fundamentally change the relationship between humans and computers.
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