AI music makers face recording industry legal battle of the bands that could spell trouble for your AI-generated tunes

Artificial intelligence music makers Suno and Udio have been hit with major lawsuits filed by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and major music labels for copyright infringement. The suits mark the latest battle over generative AI and synthetic media and the debate over whether they represent original creations or infringement of intellectual property rights.

The RIAA was joined by Sony Music Entertainment, UMG Recordings, Inc., and Warner Records, Inc. in the lawsuits. Suno was sued in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, while Udio developer Uncharted Labs, Inc., was sued in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. The complaints allege that both companies have copied and exploited copyrighted sound recordings without permission.

Both Suno and Udio translate text prompts into music, much like other tools can create images or videos based on a user’s suggestion. While there are plenty of other music AI developers, Suno and Udio were likely picked because of their relatively successful products. Suno AI is part of the Microsoft Copilot generative AI assistant, while Udio went viral for the creation of “BBL Drizzy.” The recording agencies say the music generated by the AI models is not original but just a reworking of copyrighted material. Notably, the groups suing are making an effort to sound like they aren’t against the tech, just how it’s used by those companies. 

“The music community has embraced AI and we are already partnering and collaborating with responsible developers to build sustainable AI tools centered on human creativity that put artists and songwriters in charge,” RIAA Chairman and CEO Mitch Glazier said in a statement. “But we can only succeed if developers are willing to work together with us. Unlicensed services like Suno and Udio that claim it’s ‘fair’ to copy an artist’s life’s work and exploit it for their own profit without consent or pay set back the promise of genuinely innovative AI for us all.”

Press pause

This could be pivotal in the fight over music AI, which has been escalating for a while. The viral deepfakes of Ghostwriter and his multiple synthetic songs with voice clones of real artists attest to the growing interest, and to the RIAA, danger, of this technology. 

TikTok and YouTube have also been drawn into the fray. Earlier this year, music by UMG artists, including Taylor Swift, was temporarily removed from TikTok due to unresolved licensing issues, partly driven by concerns over AI-generated content. In response to similar issues, YouTube introduced a system last fall to remove AI-generated music upon the request of rights holders. In May, Sony Music issued warnings to hundreds of tech companies about the unauthorized use of copyrighted material, signaling the industry’s proactive stance against unlicensed AI-generated music.

The RIAA wants the courts to rule Suno and Udio infringed on their copyrights, get them to pay for it, and stop them from continuing to do so. Unsurprisingly, the companies being sued disagree. 

“Our technology is transformative, it is designed to generate completely new outputs, not to memorize and regurgitate pre-existing content,” Suno CEO Mikey Shulman said in a statement. “We would have been happy to explain this to the corporate record labels that filed this lawsuit (and in fact, we tried to do so), but instead of entertaining a good faith discussion, they’ve reverted to their old lawyer-led playbook. Suno is built for new music, new uses, and new musicians. We prize originality.” 

The lawsuit won’t immediately affect Suno and Udio and their customers barring some unlikely early ruling from the courts. But, a legal battle at this level suggests any easy compromise is off the table. The move may speed up the timetable for the creation of a regulatory framework and accompanying laws to back it up, however.

Depending on how that goes, people using Suno, Udio, and other AI audio makers may have to remove the music from anything they have published. I wouldn’t stake everything on the current AI music scene staying the same, but the technology will almost certainly still be around regardless of the lawsuit, just perhaps with new controls and official approval of any songs for training AI models.

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Windows 12 launch date leak is an early Christmas gift for struggling laptop makers

Christmas might just have come early for laptop makers, as a new leak suggests that Windows 12 could arrive as soon as June 2024.

The news, which Tom’s Hardware originally reported on and KitGuru later added to, emerged in Taiwan’s The Commercial Times, will be good news for the PC and laptop market, which has seen a decline since the Covid-19 pandemic.

When people started working from home, many bought new PCs or laptops, along with webcams and other accessories, but this boom was not to last. With so many people using new devices, it’s understandable that they wouldn’t be in any rush to go out and buy a new one.

This has resulted in a downturn in PC and laptop sales – but the launch of a new operating system could help reinvigorate those sales.

According to the report, the June 2024 date for Windows 12 was mooted at the recent Taiwan Medical Technology Exhibition in Taipei, where Quanta Computer Chairman Barry Lam is reported to have said “next summer, when Microsoft launches a new generation of Windows operating systems, AI PCs will also be launched one after another.”

While it’s not entirely clear from the report where the June 2024 date came from, and Microsoft has not officially revealed its Windows 12 plans, there will be many in the PC industry who hope this is Microsoft's plan. We've also heard other rumors about a 2024 launch date in the past.

A new, powerful, operating system with innovative features could – if done right – encourage people to upgrade to new hardware. Whether or not Microsoft can do it right, however, is another issue.

Windows 11 woes

Windows 11 hasn’t exactly set the world alight. It’s a solid operating system, but there hasn’t been a killer app or feature that has made Windows 10 users want to switch.

Microsoft’s attempts to get people to upgrade to new laptops or PCs for Windows 11, due to its controversial insistence on TPM 2.0 compatibility, annoyed more people than it converted as well. 

So, if Windows 12 is to be the saviour of Microsoft and the wider industry, it’ll need to be a big upgrade from Windows 11, and one that makes full use of cutting-edge hardware. No pressure, then.

AI

(Image credit: Getty Images)

AI to the rescue?

Microsoft hasn’t been shy about its ambitions for artificial intelligence (AI), and while it’s been pushing AI feature in Windows 11 (and even Windows 10), it’s looking likely that Windows 12 will have even more AI integration – and it’s here that the upcoming operating system could differentiate itself from its predecessors.

Acer CEO Jason Chen, who was also at the event, talked about how AI PCs will “continuously accelerate” the industry. These ‘AI’ PCs will likely come with Windows 12 preinstalled (as Lam suggested), and will rely on advanced hardware that’s been specially made for artificial intelligence.

Microsoft’s AI additions to Windows 11, in the form of its Copilot assistant, have been warmly received by users, but they still feel a bit like a gimmick. Nothing, so far, fundamentally changes the way we use Windows 11 or our PCs, as Microsoft has promised.

However, the thought of Windows 12 being built from the ground up to make use of AI, and debuting on laptops and PC with AI-supporting hardware, is incredibly exciting. If June 2024 does indeed usher in a new era of the best laptops and PCs, there certainly will be a lot of people who’ll be tempted to upgrade – including me.

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Microsoft blames PC makers for broken Windows 11 update – but I think that’s a copout

A recent Windows 11 update (which also came to Windows 10) has been causing some serious problems for some users – and it seems Microsoft is trying to pass the buck.

As Bleeping Computer reports, some people who installed the optional August 2023 updates for Windows 11 or Windows 10 were getting the dreaded Blue Screen of Death, where their PC stops responding, with the error being labelled as an ‘UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR’ issue.

In a statement posted on its ‘Release Health’ website, that tracks known issues, Microsoft states that the “’UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR’ error was not caused by issues in KB5029351 and is limited to a specific subset of processors.”

Microsoft claims it is “collaborating with device manufacturers (OEMs)” by pausing the update being offered to Windows devices that may be affected.

If the KB5029351 is already installed and causing an issue, it will automatically uninstall, which should fix the issue.

Whose fault is it anyway?

Microsoft is usually pretty good at being transparent about Windows 11 problems, so it’s interesting that with this one, it’s saying that the error isn’t being caused “by issues in KB5029351” and that you should “contact your device’s processor manufacturer” if the problem persists.

That seems to be washing its hands of the problem a bit. After all, this issue only affects the KB5029351 update – and presumably these unsupported processors work fine with other Windows 10 and Windows 11 updates.

You’d also think it would be easier for Microsoft to release an update that was supported by these processors, rather than have the processor makers build their chips to be compatible with all future Windows updates.

It all seems a bit odd, but there must be some reasoning behind Microsoft’s blame game. The good news, at least, is that this only affects an optional update, which means it’s not going to be forced on you, and the fix seems relatively easy to apply.

Whether or not device manufacturers will be happy with Microsoft pointing the finger at them over this latest Windows 11 problem, however, is another story.

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This video maker’s new AI editing tool picks your best takes for you

Artificial intelligence may already be a staple in the best video editing software, but now Veed is launching what it calls an “industry-first editing tool” for its video maker platform. 

Every second counts when making online video, especially on platforms like TikTok and Instagram, where brands only have a few seconds to capture the audience. Presumably, Veed thinks our “umms” and “aahs” are wasting valuable time – with Magic Cut set to clean up content. 

The AI tool streamlines one of the most time-consuming (read: soul-destroying) parts of video editing – removing all the filler words and pauses. At the touch of a button, users can chop out all hesitation, deviation, or repetition. It’s joined by several other video editing tools aimed at polishing up post-production.

Critical content creation 

With its video maker service, Veed is no stranger to simplifying content editing. Unlike even the best free video editing software and video editing software for beginners, these services let businesses create a lot of content fast. It’s not Emmy award-winning material. But the videos are professional enough for social media channels. 

The arrival of AI tools like Magic Cut hardly comes as a surprise as developers streamline production processes in the drive for total accessibility. 

According to Veed's own research, over a third of consumers struggle with editing videos. It’s those users without the time or experience that tools like Magic Cut are really pitched at – an easy way to automatically clip the best takes for TikTok, Shorts, and Reels. 

“Magic Cut means people don’t have to worry about getting the perfect take or spend hours trying to cut out the bits they don’t want. This allows people to spend more time on the creative, fun parts of content creation,” said Veed CEO and co-founder Sabba Keynejad. 

The AI editor isn’t the only tool to find its way onto the platform. Generating subtitles, scripts, and images, removing background noise, and converting text to audio are all now featured. 

Veed’s toolset was one of the few areas we thought the platform really shone for us during our review. Green screen keying and a free screen recorder were two highlights. So, we’ll be interested to see how well Magic Cut performs in the line-up, especially once the fuller featured Clean Edit drops. Users can try it out for themselves by signing up for early access.  

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