Universal Urges Streaming Apps to Block AI Access to Its Song Catalog

todayApril 18, 2023 2

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Universal Urges Streaming Apps to Block AI Access to Its Song Catalog

Universal Music Group (UMG) has reached out to streaming services such as Spotify and Amazon Music, urging them to prevent artificial intelligence (AI) companies from accessing their artists’ back catalogs and using their music for training purposes. In an email reported by the Financial Times and confirmed by Billboard, UMG expressed concerns about AI services training on copyrighted music without obtaining proper consent, thereby infringing on artists’ copyrights.

UMG made it clear to the streaming platforms that they must block these AI companies from utilizing their platforms for such activities, warning of potential consequences if they fail to do so. The specific actions UMG might take remain undisclosed, given the complexity of the legal landscape surrounding AI usage and copyrighted content.

In response to the email reports, UMG emphasized its moral and commercial responsibility to protect its artists’ rights and prevent unauthorized use of their music. They expect their platform partners to actively prevent any usage that harms artists or violates creators’ rights.

AI platforms rely on vast collections of existing works to train their systems, including extensive libraries of songs for AI music platforms. While AI tools have gained popularity, concerns about copyright infringement within these training processes have arisen. In October 2022, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) raised concerns about the extraction or copying of elements from tracks by renowned artists, alleging copyright infringement.

Recently, rapper Drake spoke out about an AI-generated cover song featuring his voice that went viral, raising further awareness of the issue. Lawsuits regarding the use of copyrighted material in AI platforms’ training have emerged, including a class-action lawsuit filed by visual artists and a case where Getty Images sued Stability AI for allegedly scraping its database for training materials.

Although major labels like UMG have complex partnerships with streaming services, making lawsuits unlikely, legal actions against AI platforms by music companies, artists, or songwriters could be a possibility in the future. The issue of AI and copyright infringement is poised to face legal scrutiny in the coming months.



Written by: AIT

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