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RIAA targets AI Hub on Discord

By | Published on Friday 23 June 2023


The Recording Industry Association Of America has secured a subpoena from the US courts forcing Discord to identify individuals who have allegedly infringed copyright by sharing music files via a Discord server called the AI Hub.

According to Torrentfreak, the AI Hub on Discord is “a thriving community that opens the door to lots of AI-related content” including “voice models of major musicians such as Bruno Mars, Frank Sinatra, Rihanna and Stevie Wonder”.

The RIAA seemingly first raised concerns about content and data being shared via that Discord server back in May. It requested that Discord remove or disable the server, as well as specific files or links that it reckoned infringed its record label members’ copyrights.

It also asked Discord to inform the people operating the server and uploading allegedly infringing content to it of “the illegality of their conduct”.

Torrentfreak reports that Discord has removed some of the specific links identified by the RIAA, but that the AI Hub server at large continues to operate.

While the labels may well be concerned that the AI Hub is helping facilitate the unlicensed training of music-making AI tools – including those that create tracks imitating the voices of pop stars – the RIAA’s specific complaint seemingly relates to the sharing of data-sets via the server which include unlicensed music files.

The AI Hub’s own rules actually don’t allow such data-sets to be shared via the forum anyway, so its administrators presumably won’t mind if the content identified by the RIAA is removed.

As for the subpoena, it demands that Discord identifies the individuals who posted the messages targeted by the RIAA’s takedown request.

Although not going into any detail about its legal action in this domain, the RIAA told Torrentfreak: “The creative community supports AI that is ethical, follows the law and respects creators’ rights. But when those who seek to profit from AI train their systems on unauthorised content, it undermines the entire music ecosystem – harming creators, fans and responsible developers alike”.

“This action”, the trade group added, “seeks to help ensure that lawless systems that exploit the life’s work of artists without consent cannot and do not become the future of AI”.