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Anthopic AI In Hot Water Over Universal Music Copyrights

The rise of the use of artificial intelligence has upset several industries, including the music industry, and while recording and music companies are strategizing on how to handle the influx of music deepfakes, Universal Music is the latest business to file a new copyright infringement lawsuit, this time against AI start-up Anthopic.

Universal and two other music companies are alleging Anthopic’s Claude chatbot, an adversary of ChatGPT, scoured the internet picking up copyrighted songs without approval to generate ‘nearly identical’ copies.

As proof, the filing exposed that when Claude is asked for lyrics to the song “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor, it replies with “a nearly word-for-word copy of those lyrics”.

According to the music companies, “This copyrighted material is not free for the taking simply because it can be found on the internet,” and alleged Anthropic had “never even attempted” to license their copyrighted work.

As of printing, Anthropic, a company started by researchers who left Microsoft-backed OpenAI, has yet to respond.

Beyond reciting lyrics, the music companies said Claude answered prompts requesting writing in the style of famous musicians with unlicensed lyrics.

“When we asked the AI model to write a piece of short fiction in the style of Louis Armstrong, it uses the lyrics for ‘What a Wonderful World’,” they said in the filing.

While this particular fight is over AI, it mirrors the earlier problem of companies allowing the pirating of music like Napster.

This is not to say that music companies like Universal will shun AI. Quite the contrary, the music company recently shared that they would partner with BandLab to tackle copyrights “ethically” for use in AI, including proper copyrights and permission.

Additionally, Universal has also joined forces with Google to license its artists’ melodies and voices to be used in AI-generated songs.

“Publishers embrace innovation and recognise the great promise of AI when used ethically and responsibly. But Anthropic violates these principles on a systematic and widespread basis,” the music groups asserted in the filing.

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