3 Count: Uptown Royalties

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1: DeviantArt, Midjourney Face Lawsuit for Using ‘Billions of Copyrighted’ Images in AI Art

First off today, Brian Cronin at CBR reports that a pair of law first have filed a class action lawsuit against DeviantArt, Stability AI and Midjourney over their alleged infringement of artwork that they used to train their artificial intelligence systems.

The three companies share the use of Stable Diffusion, which used over a billion images found int the LAION-5B dataset to seed its AI. However, according to the lawsuit, those images were used without permission and that leads to direct copyright infringement, violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and the rights of publicity of people featured in those images.

In addition to seeking damages, the lawsuit is seeking an injunction against future use and the creation of a system where artists are fairly compensated for the use of their art in creating AI works.

2: ‘Uptown Funk’ Lawsuit Seeks Unpaid Royalties for Bruno Mars Hit

Next up today, Blake Brittain at Reuters reports that heirs of members of Gap Band have filed a lawsuit against BMG Rights Management, alleging that the publisher has not paid them owed royalties for the use of their music in the Bruno Mars song Uptown Funk.

The song uses elements from Gap Band’s 1979 song I Don’t Believe You Want to Get Up and Dance. Originally, the rightsholder and BMG worked out a deal to give the heirs a portion of the composition credits. However, according to the lawsuit, that never happened.

According to the lawsuit, BMG has not provided any of the money and has not provided an accounting of how much they are owed. This comes after the heirs used copyright termination to relcaim the rights in the music in 2016 and, from that, both of the members involved in the lawsuit are owed 3.4% of the copyright to Uptown Funk.

3: Kanye West Sued For Copyright Infringement Over Kim Kardashian Song ‘Flowers’

Finally today, Kay Lewis at The Blast reports that musician Kanye West, who now uses the name Ye, has been hit with a lawsuit over the Kim Kardashian song Flowers over allegations he sampled an earlier track without permission.

The lawsuit was filed by Trax Records on behalf of Marshall Jefferson, who created the song Move Your Body. According to the lawsuit, Ye used a sample from that song some 22 times when writing the track Flowers, which appeared on his Donda 2 album.

The lawsuit is seeking the maximum damages under the law, $150,000, and an injunction barring further sale and streaming of the Ye song.

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