This landmark case represents the first major legal battle where the music industry confronts an AI developer head-on. UMG – along with several other key industry players including Concord Music Group, ABKCO, Worship Together Music, and Plaintiff Capital CMG – is seeking $75 million in damages.
The lawsuit centres around the alleged unauthorised use of copyrighted music by Anthropic to train its AI models. The publishers claim that Anthropic illicitly incorporated songs from artists they represent into its AI dataset without obtaining the necessary permissions.
Legal representatives for the publishers have asserted that the action was taken to address the “systematic and widespread infringement” of copyrighted song lyrics by Anthropic.
The lawsuit, spanning 60 pages and posted online by The Hollywood Reporter, emphasises the publishers’ support for innovation and ethical AI use. However, they contend that Anthropic has violated these principles and must be held accountable under established copyright laws.
Anthropic, despite positioning itself as an AI ‘safety and research’ company, stands accused of copyright infringement without regard for the law or the creative community whose works underpin its services, according to the lawsuit.
In addition to the significant monetary damages, the publishers have demanded a jury trial. They also seek reimbursement for legal fees, the destruction of all infringing material, public disclosure of how Anthropic’s AI model was trained, and financial penalties of up to $150,000 per infringed work.
This latest lawsuit follows a string of legal battles between AI developers and creators. Each new case is worth observing to see the precedent that is set for future battles.
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