The War Over AI-Generated Music Continues to Escalate: Major Labels Are Suing Suno AI and Udio

  • Sony Music, Warner Music, and Universal Music are among the plaintiffs.

  • They’re seeking monetary damages, among other things.

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The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has filed lawsuits against Suno and Udio for copyright infringement. RIAA claims that these companies have used material from several record labels dating back decades to train their artificial intelligence algorithms in order to create synthetic music that could “saturate the market.”

The plaintiffs, which include Sony Music, Warner Music, Universal Music, and others, argue that “machine-generated content” has the potential to compete with music created by human artists, leading to reduced production costs and adversely impacting the work of the artists they represent.

Record Labels Vs. Generative Music Apps

In the lawsuit, which is being heard in courts in New York and Massachusetts, RIAA contends that developing and maintaining services like Suno and Udio require a vast amount of data and that their results harm human-generated music. Additionally, RIAA is seeking to prevent generative AI companies from infringing on copyrights.

To support their claims, RIAA has presented evidence that the AI-generated songs from Suno and Udio closely resemble the music of well-known artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Michael Jackson, and ABBA. Examples include songs like All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey, and I Get Around by The Beach Boys.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen legal actions of this nature. Defendants typically claim fair use under the U.S. copyright statute, but RIAA argues that Suno and Udio can’t rely on fair use because it only applies in certain scenarios.


The record labels have requested the courts to issue an injunction to stop the companies named in the lawsuit from using copyrighted content to train their AI models. They’re also seeking damages of up to $150,000 for each song used without permission. Should the court reject the sum, RIAA seeks plaintiffs' actual damages or profits from the infringement for each song used without permission.

On Monday, RIAA’s president and CEO, Mitch Glazier, shared the following statement on his X account: “The music community is committed to a vision of AI that extends and empowers human creativity. To a world where AI works for us, not the other way around.” In other words, Glazier believes Suno and Udio have a very different approach to AI, considering the way they’ve created their services.

It remains to be seen how this situation will unfold. The music industry has historically reacted to technological changes, such as P2P and streaming services, where the record labels were clearly the winners. Now, generative AI is in the spotlight.

Suno and Udio are two of the most popular generative music apps available today. They allow users to create high-quality songs in just a matter of seconds and operate using mechanisms similar to those of image generators, which also face legal challenges. As with image generators, users can use textual prompts are used to generate songs.

In 2023, an AI-generated fake song by Drake and The Weeknd became a hit. It gained significant popularity on platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and Spotify. However, the music industry intervened and removed it from virtually anywhere you could find it. Why? Copyright.

Image | Xataka using Bing Image Creator | Austin Neill

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