The world's biggest record labels are suing two artificial intelligence (AI) start-ups over alleged copyright violation.

Firms such as Sony Music and Warner Records claim AI start-ups Suno and Udio have committed copyright infringement on an "almost unimaginable scale".

The labels are claiming the AI software steals music to "spit out" similar work and are asking for compensation of $150,000 (£118,200) per work.

The complaints, filed in a federal court in Massachusetts, claim the AI firms are making money from copying songs.

But under the fair use doctrine, copyrighted worked are allowed to be used without a licence under certain conditions, such as for satire or news.

Around 200 artists, including Billie Eilish, have signed a letter calling for the use of AI in the industry to be stopped.

The complain reads: "The use here is far from transformative, as there is no functional purpose for... [the] AI model to ingest the Copyrighted Recordings other than to spit out new, competing music files."

It adds that the "motive is brazenly commercial and threatens to displace the genuine human artistry that is at the heart of copyright protection".

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