November 22, 2023
Recently, a group of music publishers reportedly filed a lawsuit in Tennessee against Anthropic, creators of the artificial intelligence chatbot named Claude. The lawsuit reportedly alleges that Anthropic is infringing the music publishers’ copyright by Claude’s use of copyrighted song lyrics.
The lawsuit claims that Anthropic and Claude violate the music publishers’ copyright in two ways. The music publishers allege that Anthropic has used copyrighted lyrics, without permission, as training input for Claude to learn to respond to human prompts. The lawsuit also alleges that Claude reproduces copyrighted lyrics as outputs to “a whole range of prompts that do not seek Publishers’ lyrics”.
The music publishers’ attorney, Matt Oppenheim, reportedly advised Reuters that it is "well-established by copyright law that an entity cannot reproduce, distribute, and display someone else's copyrighted works to build its own business unless it secures permission from rightsholders."
At the time of writing, Anthropic had yet to respond to the lawsuit.
With the recent proliferation and widespread public use of generative artificial intelligence systems, this case may set the groundwork for the future use of creative content, specifically song lyrics, by artificial intelligence companies.
Authors: Noor Sakran and Yaseen Manan