Sony Cracks Down on Unauthorized AI Training Using Its Music Catalog

Music label warns against using its songs, recordings and data to train AI models without proper licensing deals

Ben Wodecki, Jr. Editor

May 20, 2024

2 Min Read
Studio microphone and pop shield on mic in the empty recording studio
Getty Images

Sony Music Group has issued a warning against the unauthorized use of its catalog of music recordings and compositions for training AI models.

The company owns record labels including Columbia Records and RCA Records, covering acts including AC/DC, Daft Punk and Doja Cat.

Sony is now looking to protect its array of music content as the demand for AI training data increases.

In a “declaration” published across its websites, Sony Music Group publicly stated that all use of its music library for training is prohibited.

The public statement says AI model developers cannot use its library of content for data mining or scraping, spanning lyrics, audio recordings, artworks, images and related data.

“Sony Music Group has been embracing the potential for responsibly produced AI to be used as a creative tool, revolutionizing the ways songwriters and recording artists create music,” the statement reads. “We support artists and songwriters taking the lead in embracing new technologies in support of their art. Evolutions in technology have frequently shifted the course of creative industries. AI will likely continue that long-standing trend.

“However, that innovation must ensure that songwriters’ and recording artists’ rights, including copyrights, are respected.”

Related:Tupac Estate Threatens Lawsuit Over AI-Generated Drake Track

Developers building AI models have traditionally scraped the internet for training data. However, this once-common practice is facing greater scrutiny as copyright owners take legal action against the unauthorized use of their intellectual property for training purposes.

Copyright owners are instead striking deals, with model developers purchasing licenses to use their data in training. For example, OpenAI recently inked a partnership with Reddit to use posts on the platform to train its AI models last week. Google struck a similar Reddit deal in February.

Sony Music Group said its rights apply to “all existing and future content, including those creative works that may be identified through publicly available means or listed from time to time in databases.”

Music is a smaller aspect of the wider generative AI space, but it’s a growing area of interest for model developers and platform creators.

Just last week, Google unveiled Music AI Sandbox, an AI-powered platform that lets musicians create tracks from scratch. There is also Udio, a generative AI-powered music creation app launched in April that lets users create songs from text prompts.

Platforms like Music AI Sandbox and Udio would have to have licensed tracks from companies including Sony Music Group to use them to train the model.

Related:Spotify, Apple Music Take Down AI-Generated Song

Sony joins other music copyright owners in vocally committing to protect their library of works. Last summer Universal Music Group forced Spotify to take down thousands of AI-generated tracks.

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ChatGPT / Generative AI

About the Author(s)

Ben Wodecki

Jr. Editor

Ben Wodecki is the Jr. Editor of AI Business, covering a wide range of AI content. Ben joined the team in March 2021 as assistant editor and was promoted to Jr. Editor. He has written for The New Statesman, Intellectual Property Magazine, and The Telegraph India, among others. He holds an MSc in Digital Journalism from Middlesex University.

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