Suno AI Lawsuit Breakdown

This complaint is very similar to the Udio complaint. I will address different points. Suno is the first Music AI platform I started testing last month. Others including Udio followed through word of mouth. Prior to May, there were no viable music AI platforms according to professional standards, but Suno’s latest version opened the floodgates of creativity – the industry mentions 10 new songs a second on Suno alone – and there are already a good few dozens of platforms quickly catching on.

In a way, everything we may say now about AI is at a very early stage of training, building, debugging and adjusting and is evolving as we speak through the invaluable input of millions of user pioneers. We are seeing progress unfold at the speed of light before our eyes. Everyone is learning, AI is learning and countless users who never made music in their lives are also learning about making music, with each platform providing valuable tips and tricks. There is a process of demystification and breakdown of loops, beats, melodies, and vocal flows in different languages, as well as deconstruction and re-appropriation of the music production process. It brings tears to my eyes to see so many users become creators instead of passive consumers.

Many users throughout platforms mention that since AI came along, their favorite songs are the songs they made themselves. This is fantastic for humanity. Obviously, these users have now less time to listen to commercial songs. Until now, we had to listen to everything the industry imposes on us, because there was no alternative to learn from, other than public domain. It was time-consuming, frustrating, and depressing due to violent, reductive, and misogynistic lyrics and systemic undue sexualization and dehumanization of artists by the industry. Now that AI listens to these commercial “hits”, we can protect our ears while focusing on more productive things that bring us joy. In a way AI doesn’t do anything more than we’d be doing without AI, but AI saves us time and protects our emotional well-being and integrity by ingesting and filtering the trash the industry throws at us, so that we can minimize our exposure to harmful content.

Can the music industry really stop progress and continue keeping AI for themselves?

In both complaints we see that the platforms refuse to disclose what data they trained their models on. They claim it is proprietary information. The reasoning behind refusing to disclose training particulars may be that anything related to training is a trade secret and training in itself is fair use.

Ideally a LLM should have no restrictions regarding training and they shouldn’t pay for data that is publicly available. Copyright law specifically provides a training / education exemption under its fair use doctrine which may differ from one country to another, but essentially recognizes that non-commercial and transformative activity which is good for humans and society in general justifies limiting the ability of rights-holders to derive profit from copyright. Without fair use exceptions, there would be no journalists, no standup comedians, no content creators, no Youtube or TikTok, no parodies, no criticism (i.e. pop art), etc.

I can certainly copy an entire song to break it down and learn how it was made note by note. Why can’t AI? When I need to learn a music video choreography, I copy entire videos from the internet, I break them down into sections which I then further copy (several times per section, slow then normal speed) into a myriad of little video tutorials that I watch a million times until I get the moves right. While I learn the moves, I reproduce these moves with my own body which I film (another countless times) and edit into new videos. This is a 100% fair use example (and btw it’s true, I do that every day). Why can’t AI do the same with music? What’s the difference? Why does it stop being fair use when AI does the copying for the purpose of training rather than a user trying to learn a song or a dance?

It seems that both complaints put much effort in proving that the LLMs copied entire songs for training. They are not really denying it. Training is clearly a transformative process. I think what the fuss is revolving around is whether there is such a thing as “excessive training” that should be excluded from fair use defenses.

In Para. 12, the plaintiffs suggest that music generated on AI platforms is NOT human-created work! This is a strange insult to millions of human users. I’m pretty sure this qualifies as hate speech. Last time I checked, I am human and I write my own lyrics. Yet another lowly and unfounded attack. Why do they think they are the only humans in the room. WTF!

Due to the dehumanizing characterization of human users as non-human, I am not going to read the rest of the complaint. Sorry, but I can’t deal with more hateful content. Not on Canada Day. I’ll let my bot finish the job but I won’t publish the result.

Udio Complaint Entirely Based On Industry Infringing Its Own Lyrics

I am reading the Udio complaint right now. It is a little more than a “nothingburger” as the majority of users and IP lawyers have overwhelmingly noted. It is also an example of how to make a mockery of the justice system, beginning with basing an entire claim on self-serving evidence, more precisely all the evidence is based on intentional infringement of industry-owned lyrics. The only thing the plaintiffs are capable of proving with this lawsuit is how they hypothetically infringed their own lyrics, forced AI to further infringe their copyright through very precise instructions, and obtained a copyright infringing result. Several times.

If copyright law has ever been clear about something since the 18th century is not to copy other people’s texts without their consent. If you give AI infringing lyrics, it will come up with an infringing output, how surprising is that.

This lawsuit is a coaxing manual. How about, we copied the actual chorus from Michael Jackson’s Billy Jean lyrics and directed Udio to sound like Michael Jackson in as much detail and likeness as possible, and Udio made a song that resembles Billy Jean!!! So, the plaintiffs entered into prompt the excerpt “Billy Jean is not my lover, she’s just a girl who claims I am the one”. One can’t make this up. This is monumental bad faith and a waste of time of judicial resources.

Moving on, the plaintiffs copied word for word lyrics excerpts from All I Want For Chrismas is You (disclaimer: I can’t stand this song), inserted the infringed lyrics into the prompt and the name Mariah Carey along with other personal and artistic characteristics of the artist and again, the platform gave them exactly what they wanted, a copyright infringing result.

The exact same thing happened to other very old songs My Girl, I Get Around (Beach Boys), Dancing Queen (solely based on “we can dance we can jive”), American Idiot (interesting choice of song), as well as other holiday songs.

On pages 27, 28 we have an interesting “artist resemblance” table I deemed useful to reproduce as an example of exactly how NOT to make music with AI. I doubt that the great majority of AI users have the same desperate clinging to has-beens as the plaintiffs imagine. Don’t these overexposed artists already have thousands of copycats who have never heard of AI? The market was already saturated with these styles before the advent of AI. Also, the table doesn’t specify what lyrics were used in the prompt, so it is safe to assume that from the outset the lyrics were infringed like in the previous examples.

I hope you read that. It was quite funny. I have a few favorites in there. You ask AI to recreate a famous song by a band that rhymes with the smeetles, and OMG, AI sounds like the Beetles. Do you seriously expect a music AI platform had never heard of the Beetles or did you force the AI to go out of its way to find out about “smeetles” and which famous band rhymes with… Smeetles?!? I looked it up. It is not a word.

Words are the most important thing for LLMs. This is why you can’t ask ChatGPT or Claude to answer your emails, because they see each word in the email they need to answer as a prompt and the result is guaranteed nonsense. Each word inside the prompt (even someone else’s email) is interpreted separately as a part of an instruction, you must think like an algorithm for a minute and understand how a model interprets words.

Unless the model, like the latest Udio, is specifically programmed to ignore the artists names and rhymes thereof (eyeroll really), it will always try to reproduce as accurately as possible the instructions contained in words a human provides. This is why it will always be human users who will bear liability for AI’s output.

The complaint goes on to say that Udio copied other people’s vocals. I agree that it is the case and I agree it is not cool, but that’s the courts fault. There is little will to grant copyright to vocal performers, even in jurisdictions like Canada where vocal performances are specifically protected by the Copyright Act.

I spent 4 years in court trying to stop a label from remixing and selling my own vocal samples, and the only reason I won is because the contested vocals were attached to my own original lyrics in a distant slavic language, so it became eminently clear that the only way to enforce music copyright is to own the lyrics, something that continues being true in the field of AI.

The rest of the complaint adresses the fair use test, so that’s for the jury to decide. On a first sight, the main grievance appears to be the notion of “competition”. The industry is obviously diverting the fair use doctrine in order to enforce an anti-competitive monopole on all the musical loops in the world and trying to use the justice system to prevent any new music being made, unless they own the rights. That in my opinion is another sign this is an abusive lawsuit.

One thing I’m hearing from everywhere on this issue is that if the courts side with the music industry, nothing is in place to stop Russia and China to keep infringing the industry’s IP with the same tools, fair use or not, and they will flood us with their own commercial versions of AI generated output and will charge us for it, while our unsustainable music industry keeps dying anyway. There comes a moment when you just can’t afford to stifle innovation as a court.

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.

Disclosure of Conflict of Interest; The blog may move but won’t end

Conflict of interest: I can no longer write on artificial intelligence for this blog because I started working with artificial intelligence myself and I’m already on the other side of the fence. From what I’ve seen so far, AI benefits humanity in a more productive and sustainable way than the outdated IP regimes that require …

Rent Cartels By Algorithm Deepen Housing Crisis, Tenants Pay Millions of Dollars Above Fair Market Prices

Dozens of class actions filed since 2022 against the Texas based company RealPage, now consolidated into a single class action in Nashville, Tennessee, demonstrate the single most significant factor behind the last few years monumental rent increases and lack of affordable housing across the continent: widespread and unchecked anti-competitive rent price-fixing directed by shady algorithms.

Since the Propublica investigation in 2022 that put a spotlight on the issue, the situation has only worsened. Rent-fixing by algorithm has enabled and continues to enable landlords and real estate companies to do covertly and indirectly what they can’t do directly. As we speak, rents are being pushed into stratospheric heights, forcing many low earners into encampments.

RealPage’s software uses an algorithm to churn through a mountain of data during the night to suggest daily prices for available rental units. The software uses not only information about the apartment being priced and the property where it is located, but also private data on what nearby competitors are charging in rents. The software considers actual rents paid to those rivals—not just what they are advertising, the company told ProPublica.

Two district attorneys (Washington, Arizona) are suing Realpage and more than a dozen of the the largest apartment building landlords, accusing them of a scheme to artificially fix rental prices in violation of U.S. antitrust law, all while concealing their conspiracy from the public. RealPage has denied any wrongdoing in the earlier cases, and it said it would contest both cases.

Washington

Washington alleges that 14 landlords conspired to keep rental prices high using RealPage’s revenue management platform and seeks triple damages and other relief to restore competitive conditions. Landlords conspired to share information, limit supply, and drive up rents via RealPage’s software which forced tenants to pay millions of dollars above fair market prices.

“In a truly competitive market, one would expect competitors to keep their pricing strategies confidential — especially if they believe those strategies provide a competitive edge,” the lawsuit says.

In response, RealPage declared that there is no causal connection between revenue management software and increases in market-wide rents. The problem with denying causal connection, however, is a flagrant lack of algorithmic transparency and intentional concealment from the public. You can’t both have a secret algorithm and deny causation between the algorithm conduct and the obvious widespread result being artificial rent increase and illegal price-fixing. So that defense will fail.

Arizona

Arizona alleges that by providing highly detailed, sensitive, non-public leasing data with RealPage, the defendant landlords departed from normal competitive behavior and engaged in a price-fixing conspiracy. RealPage then used its revenue management algorithm to illegally set prices for all participants.

Moreover, RealPage’s conspiracy with the landlord co-defendants violate both the Arizona Uniform State Antitrust Act and the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act.

Arizona’s antitrust law prohibits conspiracies in restraint of trade and attempts to establish monopolies to control or fix prices. The State’s consumer fraud statute makes it unlawful for companies to engage in deceptive or unfair acts or practices or to conceal or suppress material facts in connection with a sale, in this case apartment leases.

The illegal practices of the defendants led to artificially inflated rental prices and caused Phoenix and Tucson-area residents to pay millions of dollars more in rent.  

Defendants conspired to enrich themselves during a period when inflation was at historic highs and Arizona renters struggled to keep up with massive rent increases.

The Class Actions

The private lawsuits by renter-plaintiffs accuse RealPage to collude with landlords to artificially inflate rents and limit the supply of housing, alleging that owners, operators and managers of large residential multifamily complexes used RealPage software to keep rental prices in many major U.S. cities above market rates and shared non-public, commercially sensitive information with RealPage as part of the conspiracy.

Two landlords have settled so far.

Amazon One Seems Ideal For Age Verification For Aylo Sites

Not sure why I am learning about this contactless biometric ID tool today (living in Canada for the past 4 years must be it) but the thing exists since 2020 as a payment method throughout the USA, being deployed in no less than 500+ Wholefoods locations. I am not trying to advertise for Amazon here, but palm recognition technology strikes me as a way more sophisticated approach than mobile pay, microchipping, or physical credit cards and paper ID.

I am frankly astonished that, during the pandemic, palm recognition wasn’t used to verify immunization status. I totally hated showing my QR code along with government issued ID to randos on a powertrip behind a plexiglas carefully studying my papers while I wanted to kill them. To the extent possible, I refused to comply, rushing past QR lines like a “distracted consumer” from hell, robust EDM blasting through my headphones, occasionally displaying a “talk to the hand” sign, shouting out “do not comply!” here and there to my alienated co-citizens… Who knew that “talk to the hand” would have been a literal solution. A palm scan would’ve totally saved me the humiliation (and subsequent PTSD). By 2022, I had entirely stopped going to venues and restaurants altogether and am still unable to return due to these painful memories.

And it sucks in a way because I love order and compliance, and all of a sudden I had no choice to boycott venues and intentionally behave like a dork contrary to my nature, because I couldn’t reconcile my law-abiding character with my absolute duty to oppose tyrannical bullshit (in my case it was the health status disclosure that broke the camel’s back, since I was cool with distancing and still am very much into it). For a minute I embraced the idea that I may be a conspiracy theorist, although I only got acquainted with such theories for the first time mid-2020 and in general I have very low opinion of politics. The rule of law is above politics and division, right (RIGHT!) Wrong. The rule of law never stood a chance next to an executive order that took 2 minutes to draft on toilet paper… now, how about a few hundred thousand of executive orders!

Although it’s too late to go back and fix that entirely avoidable fiasco, here we are 3 years later, the same government that brought us the privacy invading mandates is now suuuuper worried about the privacy of porn-consumers. I’m not here to judge, but we have a French Canadian proverb “tu ne peux pas avoir le beurre et l’argent du beurre”. You can’t have it both ways, keep the butter and the money from the butter. Or can you!

The good news is that palm recognition is a win-win. When you register with Amazon One, you would link your palm scan (that also records your veins for a unique biometric configuration) with your credit card, ID and mobile number. This data is only available to Amazon One and purportedly not shared with third parties or law enforcement (unless there is a warrant).

To access Aylo material, all you’d need to do is hold your hand in front of your device camera to ascertain you are not a minor. No names, addresses, or any personal data whatsoever are ever disclosed or stored, nobody looks at government issued IDs, so that, privacy is fully shielded. A VPN will be useless in that respect, as would be Tor, as would be a fake ID. Palm recognition could also be used to block children from accessing social media and literally anything parents decide to block them from. On a side note, please don’t use Tor for porn, it slows it down for everyone else.

In the eventuality of a (cough) new pandemic, palm recognition would also contain your immunization status and I mean your entire vaccination track-record from childhood, dispensing with the need to show government issued ID QR codes and immunization booklets. It would facilitate and speed up visa issuing (i.e. you need 2xPolio, HepB, Dengue, etc for India). All you’d need to do is hover your hand over a scanner and get your visa, board a plane or train, or access whatever venue you need to go to.

And finally, if enough stores take up palm recognition, you wouldn’t need to carry a phone or physical wallet anymore.

A List of Generative Patent Drafting Software

Patent drafting can be very technical, cumbersome, and time-consuming, yet there is no guarantee that your patent will be approved. One may need to file in several countries, thus increasing expenses. Patent drafting AI is filling a real and urgent need to slash patent filing costs to minimum. Removing prohibitive monetary barriers to patent filing is poised to empower inventors to file as many applications for as many patents as they can possibly think of on an ongoing basis. This is good for innovation.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of patent-drafting bots by alphabetical order. We haven’t had the opportunity to test them, so this is not an endorsement. The list excludes software that only features search and research specs:


A useful reading: https://www.americanbar.org/groups/intellectual_property_law/publications/landslide/2018-19/january-february/drafting-patent-applications-covering-artificial-intelligence-systems/

China Internet Court Attributes AI Generated Image Copyright To Human Prompt Creator

On Monday, the Beijing Internet Court held that a human plaintiff prompt is sufficient to invoke copyright protection in a Stable Diffusion generated image, so long as the output qualifies as an “original” work. Copyright is determined on a case by case basis, so this decision is not entirely inconsistent with other AI jurisprudence trends …

AI Voice Cloning Without Consent Is Identity Theft, Human Voice Is A Biometric Identifier

You may have heard by “experts” that “there are no laws” against unauthorized voice cloning. These experts conveniently forget that identity theft is a criminal offense under any jurisdiction in this world. Human voice is a unique biometric identifier linked to human anatomy and identity and soon inextricable from your universal Digital ID. Anyone (yes …