Universal Record Group (UMG), along with other music publishing houses such as Concord and ABKCO, have filed a lawsuit against artificial intelligence company Anthropic for “unlawful” coping and “disseminating” a “vast amount of copyrighted works” without permission.
In their lawsuit against Anthropic, UMG claims that the Amazon-backed American startup company, through their works, has been more inclined towards “theft” and not “innovation.”
The complaint, filed in Tennessee federal court on Wednesday, 18th October, states that Anthropic trains its AI model named Claude by gathering and incorporating extensive volumes of text from the internet and other sources. This text includes lyrics from innumerable musical compositions for which publishers hold or manage the copyrights.
The lawsuit alleges that Anthropic infringes upon the publisher’s rights through its use of lyrics from at least 500 songs, which includes classics like “God Only Knows,” “Gimme Shelter,” “Sweet Home Alabama” to contemporary hits like “Uptown Funk,” “Somewhere only we know,” “Halo.”
To be more precise, the exact point of infringement happens when a user prompts Anthropic’s Claude to provide lyrics to songs. Consequently, the AI chatbot produces response that contains significant or even, in some cases, the whole lyrics.
UMG, through their complaint, also highlights that there are a number of lyrics aggregators and websites performing the same function, but with proper licensing of publisher’s copyrighted works.