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13 Apr, 2023
1 min time to read

Universal Music Group (UMG) is demanding that streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music prohibit artificial intelligence companies from accessing copyrighted music to train their machines, in the latest backlash from the music industry against such technology.

UMG has become aware that AI services have been trained on copyrighted music "without obtaining the required consents" from the copyright holders. The label has sent an email to streaming services, reminding them of their responsibilities and warning them that they will take steps to protect their rights and those of their artists.

While it is unclear what these steps might be, or what UMG wants the streamers to do differently, the email is seen as an attempt to pressure streamers to take a harder line in policing their platforms.

Major labels have complex business partnerships with streaming services, meaning an outright lawsuit seems unlikely. Instead, a lawsuit against AI platforms themselves seems a more plausible outcome.