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Universal Declares War On AI-Generated Music


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UMG is cracking down on AI-generated music that it believes has been created using commercial music without a license. The major label has sent emails to music streaming services, asking them to stop giving access to their music catalogue to developers who use it to train AI technology, according to the Financial Times.


The label has also been requesting takedowns of AI-generated music from DSPs. In one email, UMG claimed that it had found out that some AI systems had used copyrighted content without getting permission or paying compensation to the rightsholders.

The streaming services have not commented publicly on the issue. UMG’s emails are part of a broader campaign by the label to address the challenges and opportunities of the AI-generated music sector.

UMG’s concerns are not unfounded. AI-generated music is becoming increasingly sophisticated, and it is possible to create music that sounds very similar to the work of existing artists. This raises the question of whether AI-generated music can be considered copyright infringement, even if it was not created with the intention of copying someone else’s work.

The answer to this question is still being debated by legal experts. However, UMG is clearly taking a cautious approach. The company is hoping to establish a clear precedent for copyright protection in the realm of AI-generated music.

UMG’s actions are likely to have a significant impact on the development of AI-generated music. It is possible that some developers will be forced to stop using copyrighted music in their training data. This could slow down the development of AI-generated music, or it could lead to the development of new technologies that allow AI to create music without relying on copyrighted material.

UMG also launched the Human Artistry Campaign last month, a coalition of industry groups from the creative, media and sports sectors that aims to establish ethical guidelines for creative AI developers. The news puts pressure on streaming services to ensure that they are not enabling unlicensed use of commercial music for training purposes.

Only time will tell how the battle between UMG and AI-generated music will play out. However, one thing is clear: UMG is determined to protect its copyrights, and it is willing to take legal action to do so.


  • Wayne Rosso

    Wayne Rosso has worked in music and technology for decades. He has worked with such artists as Aerosmith, Bee Gees, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Public Image LTD., Beach Boys, Phillip Glass, Fleetwood Mac, Rick James, New Kids on the Block, Slash, Evanescence and scores of others.


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