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Concord Music Group v. Anthropic

Major music publishers ABKCO, Concord, and Universal allege that Anthropic infringed publisher-owned copyrights in song lyrics. This infringement allegedly happened when lyrics were copied as part of the model training process, and when those lyrics were reproduced and distributed in response to prompts using Anthropic’s AI product, Claude.

The publishers argue that direct infringement took place at three stages of the model’s processing of the copyrighted material: copying taking place in initial data ingestion, additional reproduction in the fine-tuning of the data, and producing near-identical copies as outputs. Claude chatbot replicates significant portions of copyrighted lyrics when prompted to do so. The publishers highlighted that such service is provided by an already existing market of lyrics aggregators who have licensed those works. The publisher demonstrated that even when Claude is prompted to generate song lyrics without a request for a specified song’s lyrics, the chatbot replicated significant portions of existing copyrighted lyrics.

Furthermore, The publishers argued that Anthropic contributorily infringed and is vicariously liable for users’ direct infringement. Although the publishers point out Anthropic’s use of “constitutional” AI training model and its omission of protection of intellectual property rights as one of its principles, it does not appear that the infringement analysis would be affected by the values that govern Anthropic's AI model design.

LAST UPDATED 10/24/2023