Universal Music, along with other music publishers, including Concord and ABKCO, has filed a lawsuit against Anthropic, an artificial intelligence startup, for alleged systematic and widespread infringement of copyrighted song lyrics. The legal action claims that Anthropic’s AI chatbot, Claude, generates almost identical copies of song lyrics in response to user queries, violating copyright ownership. Examples cited in the lawsuit include Katy Perry’s “Roar” and Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive,” both of which are claimed to have been reproduced without authorization.
The lawsuit argues that in the process of developing and operating AI models, Anthropic unlawfully copies and disseminates significant amounts of copyrighted works. It emphasizes the importance of AI companies adhering to the law, comparing them to developers of previous technologies such as the printing press and the web crawler.
Anthropic, founded in 2021 by former OpenAI research executives, has secured significant funding from companies like Google, Salesforce, and Zoom. The startup raised $750 million in two funding rounds and holds a valuation of $4.1 billion. Anthropic’s AI chatbot, Claude, gained attention for its ability to summarize lengthy texts, handling up to 75,000 words, a significant advancement compared to competitors like OpenAI’s ChatGPT.
While Anthropic has been lauded for its achievements and was invited to the White House for discussions on responsible AI development, the recent legal action by major music publishers raises concerns about potential copyright violations in the development and application of AI technologies.
This case underscores the evolving challenges related to copyright infringement as AI technologies continue to advance. The outcome of this lawsuit may set precedents for the responsible use of AI models in accessing and reproducing copyrighted content.
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