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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Microsoft’s Notepad goes from a simple text editor to a mini-Word thanks to spell check and autocorrect – but could it lose its charm?

The once-unloved Microsoft Notepad app continues to get new features, with spell check and autocorrect reportedly coming to the Windows staple next. Originally debuting as a heavily stripped-down version of Microsoft Word, Notepad is now beginning to resemble Word more and more with each successive update. 

This latest Notepad update is currently only available in Windows 11 Preview Build 26085, which you can get through the Windows Insider Program, Microsoft’s community for professionals and Windows enthusiasts to try out new Windows versions and features before they’re released to the wider user base.

According to MSPowerUser, the upgraded Notepad app (version 11.2402.18.0) is available in both the Dev and Canary release channels of the Windows Insider Program. Apparently, the update will also allow users to customize how these new features are used. This is good news, as Notepad is widely known as a simple text editor, and I’m sure many users will prefer to keep it that way.

Windows Insider @PhantomOfEarth shared the Notepad upgrade on X (formerly Twitter), where he noted that the features are currently being tested by Microsoft ahead of a wider rollout. He also shared a screenshot of what Notepad’s settings page will look like and some of the new settings that users will be able to adjust (specifically, being able to turn autocorrect and spell check on and off).

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While not seen in this screenshot, MSPowerUser claims that additional settings will allow users to tailor their feature preferences even further by selecting which file types the new features apply to. It also reports that beyond Notepad, Microsoft is experimenting with new sections in the Windows 11 settings menu and new user interface (UI) animations that will be included in this Windows preview build.

Early user reception of the new Notepad

The introduction of spell check and autocorrect into Notepad follows the recent introduction of Cowriter, an artificial assistant (AI) writing assistant, which was seen in a previous preview build.

Cowriter didn’t get the warmest user response, as again, Notepad is Windows’ staple ‘simple text app’, and many users aren’t interested in additional bells and whistles. It’s also a pretty overt attempt by Microsoft to carry out its promise to inject AI into as much of the user experience in Windows as possible, which has rubbed some users the wrong way. 

It does seem that Microsoft may have taken note of this backlash in its attempts to try and flesh out Notepad further, with it giving the users options in settings to turn the new features on and off, and tailor what file types they apply to. I think this is wise and Microsoft would do well to keep this behavior up, especially if it insists on changing and removing apps that users love and have gotten used to over decades.  After all, Microsoft killed off WordPad just a few months ago – but that doesn’t mean we all want Notepad to simply replace it. Sometimes, simplicity is better. 

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