As AI-generated content floods our digital landscape, Universal Music Group (UMG) takes a stand, urging streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music to block AI-created tunes. With artists’ intellectual property at stake, UMG fights to protect its rights in this new technological era. 

The Financial Times reported on April 13 that UMG has been sending out requests to take down AI-generated songs “left and right.” These songs have been popping up on streaming services with increased frequency, causing growing concerns about the potential infringement of artists’ intellectual property rights.One Twitter user posted an example of an AI-generated song that features an AI-version of the famous rapper Jay-Z, which is almost indistinguishable from the real Jay Z. The user said as a fan of Jay-Z, he “enjoyed” the track but doesn’t know if he should feel “good or ashamed” for liking AI-music. 

Until now, AI bots have had access to music catalogs on streaming platforms, which developers have used to train the technology. According to the report, UMG has become “increasingly concerned” about AI bots using intellectual property to produce music identical to actual artists. 

A source close to the situation said that this next generation of technology currently emerging poses “significant issues.” They continued saying AI could be asked to compose a song that lyrically resembles Taylor Swift but with vocals and themes of other popular artists like Bruno Mars and Harry Styles. 

UMG is taking an artist-first stance, writing in emails to the streaming services that “we will not hesitate to take steps to protect our rights and those of our artists. “The same Twitter user also tweeted a clip of an AI model of Kanye West singing along to the tracks of rapper Drake’s song “Hold On.” Examples like this touch on the exact fears UMG is currently raising about streaming services. 

Along with AI-generated music on Twitter and popular streaming platforms, entire YouTube pages are popping up, remaking well-known music via AI technology. The issue could only be the beginning of what could be in store for the music industry in its fight against AI technology taking advantage of intellectual property rights. 

Google recently announced its own machine-learning music apparatus called MusicLM, which will be able to generate “high-fidelity music from text descriptions. “The application has yet to be released; however, Google has released an entire page on GitHub of sample music generated with insights (keywords) about how it was generated. 

As AI-generated music continues to gain traction, the music industry finds itself grappling with questions about intellectual property, artistic integrity, and the future of creative expression. The battle between UMG and emerging AI technology is a testament to the shifting landscape of the music world, and the ultimate outcome remains uncertain. 


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