Streaming services under pressure to crack down on AI-generated music

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Universal Music Group has instructed streaming platforms such as Spotify and Apple to block artificial intelligence services from scraping melodies and lyrics from copyrighted songs, according to an email seen by the Financial Times. bottom.

UMG, which controls about a third of the global music market, is increasingly concerned about AI bots using their songs to train themselves and mass-produce music like popular artists. I’m going to hold you.

The AI-generated songs have appeared on streaming services, and UMG is sending takedown requests “left and right,” according to people familiar with the matter. The company is asking streaming companies to block access to developers’ music catalogs that they use to train AI techniques.

In an email seen by the FT, UMG wrote to its online platform in March:

“This next-generation technology poses significant problems,” said a person close to the situation. “many [generative AI] I am trained in popular music. You can do things like Taylor Swift-style lyrics, Bruno Mars-style vocals, and more Harry Styles-style themes. The output we get is due to the fact that the AI ​​was trained on the intellectual property of those artists. ”

For example, a YouTube page titled “PluggingAI” has uploaded tracks that sound like Kanye West singing songs by The Weeknd and SZA. The website allowed users to enter a prompt and receive a clip that sounded like a custom Drake song of his. It was closed months ago.

The biggest recent innovation in this area is MusicLM, developed by Google, which generates music from text descriptions. According to the research paper, MusicLM was trained from his dataset of 280,000 hours of music.

However, Google has not released the product because Google researchers found “potential abuse risks for creative content.” Researchers Find About 1% of Music Generated Is Direct Reproduction of Copyrighted Works, More Work Needed to “Address These Risks” Before MusicLM Releases concluded that it is.

Home to artists ranging from Swift, Elton John and The Weeknd, UMG has undertaken an effort to purge “low quality” songs, including ambient music and AI-generated songs, from its streaming platforms.

The company told the streaming service last month:

A UMG spokesperson told the FT: Our platform partners will want to prevent their services from being used in a way that harms artists. ”

Spotify declined to comment. Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

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