AI startup Anthropic is being sued by the Universal Music Group and dozens of other music labels over the use of music lyrics to train the company’s AI chatbot, Claude. Universal Music Group is the largest music company in the world and anchors what could be a landmark lawsuit in the future of AI.
This case is similar in several ways to an earlier lawsuit by a group of authors including James Patterson and Michael Connelly against Anthropic rival, OpenAI.
Large language models like OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Anthropic’s Claude 2.0 are “trained” by ingesting large amounts of information which informs how the chatbots respond to prompts from users.
Anthropic is being accused of ingesting copyrighted lyrics from thousands of songs to train its chatbot.
Prompts asking for suggested song lyrics will result in output that simulates songs from all types of musicians, and in some cases, responds with exact lyrics from existing songs.
Because of the condensed nature of the lyrics, many feel that this case may be easier for the music companies to prove than the lawsuit representing the book authors.
The lawsuit, filed in the Middle District of Tennessee – Nashville District, states, “Publishers embrace innovation and recognize the great promise of AI when used ethically and responsibly. But Anthropic violates these principles on a systematic and widespread basis. Anthropic must abide by well-established copyright laws, just as countless other technology companies regularly do.”
A decision in this case could have a widespread impact on multiple companies over copyrighted materials for use in both training and output of AI chatbots.