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What the RIAA lawsuits mean for AI and copyright

A smiling computer surrounded by music notes connected like data points.
Cath Virginia / The Verge | Photo from Getty Images

Udio and Suno are not, despite their names, the hottest new restaurants on the Lower East Side. They’re AI startups that let people generate impressively real-sounding songs — complete with instrumentation and vocal performances — from prompts. And on Monday, a group of major record labels sued them, alleging copyright infringement “on an almost unimaginable scale,” claiming that the companies can only do this because they illegally ingested huge amounts of copyrighted music to train their AI models.

These two lawsuits contribute to a mounting pile of legal headaches for the AI industry. Some of the most successful firms in the space have trained their models with data acquired via the unsanctioned scraping of massive amounts of…

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