Suno, the AI company facing a copyright suit from recording companies, has released a mobile app

AI music generation platform Suno has had a year of ups and downs.

After raising USD $125 million in a funding round that valued the company at $500 million, and hitting 12 million users on its platform, resulting in 10 new AI-generated tracks being created every second, the company behind what is considered one of the best text-to-music AI generators is now facing a copyright infringement lawsuit from the major music companies.

Yet that isn’t stopping the Massachusetts-headquartered company from moving forward with new products.

Suno announced on Monday (July 1) that it has launched its first-ever mobile app. The ability to create full-length songs in minutes, by inputting only text descriptions and (optional) lyrics will now be at the fingertips of smartphone users.

For now, the Suno mobile app is only available on the Apple Store in the US, but the company says it will soon be launching worldwide and on Android devices.

“Suno is built for new music, new uses, and new musicians,” CEO Mikey Shulman wrote in a blog post. “We’re excited to be in your pocket whenever the moment strikes, and to provide a rich set of tools for capturing it.”

However, that “rich set of tools” is not without controversy. In a lawsuit filed in US federal court late last month, recording companies owned by the three music majors – Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group – accused Suno of using copyrighted songs without permission to train its AI.

The recording companies’ legal complaint warned that, if allowed to use copyrighted works without permission, “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.”

“AI companies, like all other enterprises, must abide by the laws that protect human creativity and ingenuity,” the complaint states. “There is nothing that exempts AI technology from copyright law or that excuses AI companies from playing by the rules.”

“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.”

Record companies’ legal complaint against Suno

However, the assertion that AI developers have to get permission to use copyrighted works has not been ruled on yet by US courts.

AI tech companies have argued that their use of copyrighted works should be given a “fair use” exemption under the law – something that music companies and other rights holders have vehemently argued against.

“Fair use is not available when the output seeks to ‘substitute’ for the work copied. And Suno [has] in their own words, conceded that is exactly what they intend,” stated the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), which coordinated the lawsuit against Suno, as well as another, concurrent lawsuit against AI music generator Udio.

Shulman has publicly defended Suno against the recording companies’ allegations.

“Suno’s mission is to make it possible for everyone to make music. Our technology is transformative; it is designed to generate completely new outputs, not to memorize and regurgitate pre-existing content. That is why we don’t allow user prompts that reference specific artists,” the Suno CEO said in a statement obtained by MBW.

“Suno is built for new music, new uses, and new musicians.”

Mikey Shulman, Suno

Suno is well-armed to defend itself against allegations of copyright infringement.

Earlier this year, the company raised $125 million in a Series B funding round that included venture capital firms Lightspeed Ventures and Founder Collective.

In an interview with Rolling Stone this spring, an early investor in Suno – Antonio Rodriguez of VC firm Matrix Partners – indicated that he was prepared for the possibility that Suno would face copyright lawsuits, and suggested that this was “the risk we had to underwrite when we invested in the company.”

In their lawsuit against Suno, the recording companies cited Rodriguez’ words as evidence that the company knowingly used copyrighted music to train its AI models.

Nonetheless, the capital infusion has given Suno enhanced capabilities to grow its business. In May, the company announced its first ever scheme to pay music creators – a $1 million fund to be disbursed to creators of the most popular AI-generated tracks on the Suno platform.Music Business Worldwide

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