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WASHINGTON, DC (June 24, 2024) – The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) today announced the filing of two copyright infringement cases based on the mass infringement of copyrighted sound recordings copied and exploited without permission by two multi-million-dollar music generation services, Suno and Udio.

The case against Suno, Inc., developer of Suno AI, was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts and the case against Uncharted Labs, Inc., developer of Udio AI, was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. The plaintiffs in the cases are music companies that hold rights to sound recordings infringed by Suno and Udio – including Sony Music Entertainment, UMG Recordings, Inc., and Warner Records, Inc. The claims cover recordings by artists of multiple genres, styles, and eras.

“The music community has embraced AI and we are already partnering and collaborating with responsible developers to build sustainable AI tools centered on human creativity that put artists and songwriters in charge,” said RIAA Chairman and CEO Mitch Glazier. “But we can only succeed if developers are willing to work together with us. Unlicensed services like Suno and Udio that claim it’s ‘fair’ to copy an artist’s life’s work and exploit it for their own profit without consent or pay set back the promise of genuinely innovative AI for us all.”

RIAA Chief Legal Officer Ken Doroshow added, “These are straightforward cases of copyright infringement involving unlicensed copying of sound recordings on a massive scale. Suno and Udio are attempting to hide the full scope of their infringement rather than putting their services on a sound and lawful footing. These lawsuits are necessary to reinforce the most basic rules of the road for the responsible, ethical, and lawful development of generative AI systems and to bring Suno’s and Udio’s blatant infringement to an end.”

The cases seek: (1) declarations that the two services infringed plaintiffs’ copyrighted sound recordings; (2) injunctions barring the services from infringing plaintiffs’ copyrighted sound recordings in the future; and (3) damages for the infringements that have already occurred.

Key Allegations 

While the facts of each case regarding each of the defendants’ unlicensed copying of plaintiffs’ sound recordings are distinct, they also contain a common set of core allegations regarding the training, development, and operation of Suno and Udio.

The Suno complaint is available here and the Udio complaint is available here.

A graphic restating allegations regarding copying of iconic music is available here.

Excerpts from the complaints include:

  • “AI companies, like all other enterprises, must abide by the laws that protect human creativity and ingenuity.  There is nothing that exempts AI technology from copyright law or that excuses AI companies from playing by the rules.  Th[ese] lawsuit[s] see[k] to enforce these basic principles.” (Complaints ¶ 2.)
  • “[T]here is both promise and peril with AI. As more powerful and sophisticated AI tools emerge, the ability for AI to weave itself into the processes of music creation, production, and distribution grows. If developed with the permission and participation of copyright owners, generative AI tools will be able to assist humans in creating and producing new and innovative music. But if developed irresponsibly, without regard for fundamental copyright protections, those same tools threaten enduring and irreparable harm to recording artists, record labels, and the music industry, inevitably reducing the quality of new music available to consumers and diminishing our shared culture.” (Complaints ¶ 3.)
  • “Building and operating [these services] requires at the outset copying and ingesting massive amounts of data to “train” a software “model” to generate outputs. For [these services], this process involved copying decades worth of the world’s most popular sound recordings and then ingesting those copies [to] generate outputs that imitate the qualities of genuine human sound recordings.” (Complaints ¶ 7.)
  • “When those who develop such [services] steal copyrighted sound recordings, the [services’] synthetic musical outputs could saturate the market with machine-generated content that will directly compete with, cheapen, and ultimately drown out the genuine sound recordings on which the [services were] built.” (Complaints ¶ 4.)
  • “Given that the foundation of [these businesses] has been to exploit copyrighted sound recordings without permission, [they have] been deliberately evasive about what exactly [they have] copied. This is unsurprising. After all, to answer that question honestly would be to admit willful copyright infringement on an almost unimaginable scale.” (Complaints ¶ 8.)
  • “Of course, it is obvious what [these services are] trained on. [They] copied Plaintiffs’ copyrighted sound recordings en masse and ingested them into [their] AI model[s]. [These] product[s] can only work the way [they do] by copying vast quantities of sound recordings from artists across every genre, style, and era. (Complaints ¶ 9.)
  • “[These services are] not exempt from the copyright laws that protect human authorship. Like any other market participant, [they] cannot reproduce copyrighted works for a commercial purpose without permission. Heedless of this basic principle, [their] unauthorized copying erodes the value and integrity of Plaintiffs’ copyrighted sound recordings with rapid and devastating impact. [These] service[s] generat[e] music with such speed and scale that it risks overrunning the market with AI-generated music and generally devaluing and substituting for human-created work.” (Complaints ¶ 12.)
  • “[The services] cannot avoid liability for [their] willful copyright infringement by claiming fair use. The doctrine of fair use promotes human expression by permitting the unlicensed use of copyrighted works in certain, limited circumstances, but [the services] offe[r] imitative machine-generated music—not human creativity or expression.” (Complaints ¶ 14.)
  • “Since the day [they] launched, [the services have] flouted the rights of copyright owners in the music industry as part of a mad dash to become the dominant AI music generation service. Neither [these services] nor any other generative AI company, can be allowed to advance toward this goal by trampling the rights of copyright owners.” (Suno ¶ 82, Udio ¶ 91.)

Music Community Support

The following organizations and individuals support this effort to protect creative works and develop responsible, lawful AI tools that promote and extend human creativity.

Dr. Richard James Burgess MBE, American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) President and Chief Executive Officer: “Independent artists, record labels, and songwriters make immense contributions to culture, yet they often suffer the most when services build businesses by using their work without permission or compensation. We stand united with the music community to defend creators’ rights against callous entities like Suno and Udio that aim to steal, misappropriate, and profit from the life’s work of talented performers and writers. We envision a future where the human spirit drives innovation, rather than being exploited by it.”

Jen Jacobsen, Artist Rights Alliance (ARA) Executive Director: “Artists deserve for their hard work and creativity to be respected in the marketplace and protected from services like Suno and Udio, which undermine the very principles on which copyright was founded. These services are engaging in massive theft to train their models and flood playlists with machine imitations, infringing on creators’ rights and devaluing art itself. ARA is grateful these cases have been filed in pursuit of a music ecoystem that truly supports artists and fans.”

Willie “Prophet” Stiggers, Black Music Action Coalition (BMAC) Co-Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer: “Real music comes from real life and real people. We must regulate the companies that are backed by multibillion-dollar investors who are offering shortcuts, knockoffs, and low-quality imitations. I urge the courts to recognize that ‘training’ AI on copyrighted music requires permission. It is vital that artists and songwriters are in charge of their own work, story, and message. Black Music Action Coalition are founding members of the Human Artistry Campaign and stand united with our fellow advocacy groups on this issue!”

Dr. Moiya McTier, Human Artistry Campaign (HAC) Senior Advisor: “The need to get consent before using copyrighted works in AI models is a founding principle of the Human Artistry Campaign and a fundamental pillar of any notion of ‘ethical’ or ‘responsible’ AI. Training AI services on stolen music is an insult to individual human artistry and an attack on the autonomy of every artist, author, and creator.”

Music Workers Alliance (MWA) and Indie Musicians Caucus of the AFM: Music Workers Alliance represents indie musicians. We believe the ingestion of our recorded work without our consent, credit, and compensation by Generative AI systems to be a violation of our copyrights, and a threat to the livelihoods of countless musicians . . . and we are in full support of the RIAA’s lawsuit against Suno and Udio. These corporations steal our work to create sound-alikes, effectively forcing us into a “training” role to which we never consented. Their more expensive subscriptions allow users to commercialize the outputs, placing us in unfair competition with an inexhaustible supply of knock-offs of our own work, published without any credit or acknowledgement of our role in their creation, and yet capable of displacing us in record production, film, video, and television scoring, and other markets. That we see none of the profits these corporations reap from the sale of subscriptions to their services is grossly unfair. Recording musicians have already experienced one major devaluation of our work due to the failure to regulate the Section 512 DMCA Safe Harbors. Permitting our unauthorized work to be used in the creation of AI Generated “music” will further devalue our work, driving an untold number from the profession. We hope that the court will intervene to put a stop to this exploitive infringement before the damage to our community, the Constitutional principle of copyright, and the culture we all share becomes disastrous and irreversible.

Indie Musicians Caucus of the AFM: Indie Musicians Caucus is an organization of by and for rank and file indie members of the American Federation of Musicians. We endorse the statement of the Music Workers Alliance in support of the RIAA’s lawsuit against AI companies  Suno and Udio. 

David Israelite, National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) President and Chief Executive Officer: “NMPA is completely supportive of this lawsuit against Suno and Udio. Both platforms clearly train on copyrighted recordings – it is apparent to anyone listening to what they generate. This case is precedent-setting and integral to artists’ rights as human creators. Millions of people already use these tools which amounts to countless infringements on real musicians. We will continue to back the RIAA in their mission to safeguard artists.”

Harvey Mason jr., Recording Academy Chief Executive Officer: “New technology has been a valuable tool used by generations of music creators, and there is no reason responsible generative artificial intelligence will be any different. To maintain the trust of artists and fans alike, AI companies must properly gain permission from and compensate creators when using their works, and we support the RIAA in taking action against services that seek to improperly profit from the creators and iconic sound recordings that make these services function.”

Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator: “Human-created music must be protected. The defendants’ massive infringement of recorded music – in large part constituting the creative works of SAG-AFTRA Members – is illegal, unethical, and must not remain unchecked. SAG-AFTRA wholeheartedly supports these claims.”

Dina LaPolt, Songwriters of North America (SONA) Board Member: “These cases pull back the curtain on the massive unjust use/ ingestion of artists’ recordings and songwriters’ work by well-backed companies like Suno and Udio who refuse to play by the rules and pay creators for their work. This is a big and important fight that impacts everyone in the music and entertainment business and could determine the future of human art.”

Michael Huppe, SoundExchange President and Chief Executive Officer: “AI has the potential to bring great benefits to the music industry, both for music makers and consumers. There are a myriad of AI companies that properly work with the creative community, recognizing the foundational value they bring to training the algorithms. But the music industry cannot condone businesses that thrive on wholesale copying of creators works without permission or compensation.”


The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) advocates for recorded music and the people and companies that create it in the United States. RIAA’s several hundred members – ranging from major American music groups with global reach to artist-owned labels and small businesses – make up the world’s most vibrant and innovative music community, working to help artists reach their potential and connect with fans while supporting hundreds of thousands of American jobs.

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