The music is about to stop for unauthorized AI songmakers Suno and Udio. Sony, Universal, and Warner have had enough of these robot music factories cranking out hits, and are suing for copyright infringement.

Led by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the Big Three labels just filed lawsuits in Boston and New York accusing Suno and Udio of lifting tracks without permission. Some analysts say it’s the opening salvo in a legal battle that could reshape how AI trains on copyrighted tunes.

The suits target “mass infringement” by services the RIAA declares are “stealing” songs. Some juicy details: an early Suno investor more or less admitted they used labels’ music without deals. Udio execs also essentially owned up, saying their AI learned from “the best quality music” online.

Forensic music analysts even uncovered samples of Ed Sheeran, ABBA, and other artists baked into Suno and Udio’s robot riffs. In some cases, the AI apparently mimicked vocals so well you’d think Michael Jackson or Bruce Springsteen were recording in the garage.

This could get really interesting in court. AI makers argue analyzing copyrighted works to train algorithms counts as “fair use.” But music tycoons say songbots that directly compete for sales cross the line. The lawsuits aim to establish whether copyright law leaves any breathing room for generative AI.

The RIAA warns this is just the beginning – more legal action is certainly coming down the pipeline as the industry hardens its stance on AI using its catalog without permission.

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