AI firm Anthropic seeks dismissal of music publisher lawsuit on jurisdiction grounds

Complete Music Update writes

Amazon-backed AI company Anthropic has submitted a motion to dismiss a copyright lawsuit filed against it by a group of music publishers, though on jurisdiction grounds rather than detailed copyright law arguments.

In its legal filing with the courts in Tennessee, the AI firm claims that Universal Music PublishingConcord and ABKCO have filed their lawsuit in “a jurisdiction with no connection whatsoever to any conduct alleged in the complaint”.

The music publishers accuse Anthropic of using their lyrics without permission when training its AI chatbot Claude. Copyright owners argue that tech firms need to get permission if they use existing content when training generative AI models. Most AI companies do not agree.

Various copyright owners have gone legal to test the copyright obligations of AI firms, often via the Californian courts. And that’s where this lawsuit should have been filed, Anthropic reckons, because – you know – both big tech and Hollywood are based in that state. Though, while California is a key base for the music industry, so is Nashville, Tennessee.

Anthropic also notes that some of the test cases filed by copyright owners in California have been stripped back by the courts there in recent months, implying that the publishers have gone legal in Tennessee because of that trend. Though, while it is true the Californian courts have rejected many arguments in the test cases, core infringement claims generally remain.

Either way, Anthropic reckons Nashville is no place to be fighting this legal battle, given it is based in California, and most of the plaintiffs have their primary base in that state too. “The court should dismiss plaintiffs’ complaint or, in the alternative, direct transfer to the Northern District of California”, its legal filing concludes.