AI Sued for Copying Lyrics of Rolling Stones, Beyonce and Katy Perry – The Hollywood Reporter

A trio of major music publishers are entering a legal battle against generative artificial intelligence to stop the use of their copyrighted material to train artificial intelligence systems, this time in a lawsuit against Anthropic.

Universal Music Group, Concord Music Group and ABKCO filed a lawsuit against the company in Tennessee federal court on Wednesday, accusing it of “systematic and widespread infringement” by copying and distributing lyrics from at least 500 songs by artists including Katy Perry and the Rolling Stones. and Beyoncé. .

The lawsuit, which is the first brought by a music publisher against an artificial intelligence company over the use of song lyrics, comes after the Authors Guild, which represents a host of prominent fiction authors including George R.R. Martin, Jonathan Franzen and John Grisham , filed the lawsuit with OpenAI last month. A leading writers’ trade group said the Sam Altman-led company engaged in a “systematic course of massive copyright infringement” to “fuel its lucrative commercial activities.” This marks at least the third lawsuit against OpenAI for using copyrighted books to teach GPT.

“Anthropic did not seek or obtain permission from the publishers to use their valuable copyrighted works in this manner,” the complaint states. “Just as Anthropic does not want its code used without its permission, music publishers or any other copyright holders do not want their works used without permission.”

As evidence of Anthropic’s “massive copying and exploitation of publishers’ song lyrics,” the lawsuit points to Claude AI’s chatbot providing lyrics to songs owned by publishers. When asked about the lyrics to Concord’s Katy Perry song “Roar,” he provided an almost identical copy of the lyrics from the piece.

The publishers argue that there is an existing market that is being undermined by Amazon-backed Anthropic, which steals their material without consent or payment, citing music aggregators and websites that license their work. By refusing to license content from which it profits, the company “deprives publishers and their songwriters of control over their copyrighted works and the hard-earned benefits of their creative endeavors; it competes unfairly with those website developers who respect copyright law.” copyright.” and pay for licenses, which is incredibly disruptive to existing and future licensing markets,” the complaint states.

This argument is intended to undermine Anthropic’s expected fair use defense, which was effectively curbed when the Supreme Court issued its recent decision in the Andy Warhol case. Visual Arts Foundation Vs. Goldsmith. In this case, the majority emphasized that the analysis of whether the allegedly infringing work has been sufficiently transformed must be balanced against the “commercial nature of the use.” The music publishers are trying to argue that Anthropic’s alleged copyright infringement has harmed their prospects of profiting from the material by preventing potential licensing agreements to use their lyrics.

Additionally, the lawsuit alleges that Claude generates responses containing copyrighted lyrics even when specifically asked not to do so, such as in prompts about writing a song, providing a chord progression, or writing poetry in the style of a particular artist.

The music publishers allege direct copyright infringement, as well as indirect and related infringement, including the alleged illegal removal of copyright management information. They are seeking a court order preventing Anthropic from continuing to use copyrighted material and up to $150,000 in damages for copyright infringement.

In a statement, Matthew Oppenheim, a lawyer representing the publishers, said: “Copyright law is clear that an organization cannot reproduce, distribute or display others’ copyrighted works to build its own business unless it obtains permission from the copyright holders.” .

Anthropic did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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