RIAA versus Suno and Udio, Greed Suing Itself, Bring Popcorn

Greed versus greed, you guys. The weather has been too nice these days for me to read the lawsuits yet, but I promise I will by Canada Day, because nothing could be more exciting. For now, just know that I am on nobody’s side. I do believe that training AI on all the music in world is fair use and doesn’t require a licence. As with everything copyright, you can only know from the output if something is infringing, on a case by case basis, there is no blanket solution to this situation. However, the major music gen companies (which quite hilariously are entirely financed by the music industry) have for long flaunted the idea that they automatically somehow “own” all the rights to musical compositions generated on their platforms. Now that they know they own zero rights in the generated content, it appears from here that the industry is suing itself, to basically give itself a pretext to shut down these platforms, and force licenses for thousands of years on all other platforms they don’t control, existing and yet not created.

I didn’t know the term “coaxing” until the Anthropic lawsuit, but from what I’ve heard about the evidence in the Suno and Udio lawsuits, the term strongly applies. The platforms were specifically prompted to infringe copyright from the outset, otherwise nobody in their right mind would ever ask AI to recreate Johnny B Goode or Great Balls of Fire. You can literally do it with a guitar or a piano. And people have been doing it for a hundred years already on a daily basis before computers existed. Are you going to sue the piano for playing Great Balls of Fire? The whole idea is to screw the users, and whatever opinion I may draft on the matter, it will always be user-centric.

Even before the lawsuit I noticed that the algorithms of Suno and Udio are being messed with and at times rendered quasi-useless (as in they rarely accurately respond to prompt), this is what gave me a hint that they are industry-controlled and then I found out who the first big investors are. I am keeping close tabs of algorithmic conduct across platforms, but given these lawsuits, I won’t give away any particulars on that because I have no intention helping either party. It is entirely possible that I myself end up being sued for generated content. I thought I was taking risks, but nowhere near the “evidence” I’m hearing from in these lawsuits. I am lawyering up too (as usual) and any concrete evidence on algorithmic conduct is for now litigation privilege, until I decide to lift the privilege or to use it against someone.

If you want to follow gossip and people pretending to be adversarial, you can check out https://www.musicbusinessworldwide.com/.

But for now, the best use of of my time will be to go to the beach, and I strongly advise you to do the same. The lawsuits are not going to run away, they will entertain us for years to come.