Paramount+ Hikes Prices; Major Music Groups File Lawsuit Against AI Music Firms; WeBank Expanding to Hong Kong 

On today’s news digest: Paramount+ Hikes Prices; Major Music Groups File Lawsuit Against AI Music Firms; WeBank Expanding to Hong Kong 

Paramount Global has announced price hikes for its ad free streaming service, coming into effect from late August. The price of the Paramount+ plan with Showtime will increase by USD $1 to $12.99 per month (£0.79 – £10.29); the Paramount+ Limited Commercial Plan will also increase by $1 to $7.99 (£6.33). Meanwhile, the price of the Paramount+ Essential plan will increase only for new subscribers, who will face an increase of $2, to $7.99 (£1.58 – £6.33). Despite the price hikes, Paramount remains one of the most affordable streaming services, with lower fees than Disney+ or Netflix. 

Looking to the latest legal happenings, three major music companies – Sony Music, Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group – have filed lawsuits against AI music firms Suno and Udio, over the alleged copyright infringement of their sound recordings. The case maintains that Suno and Udio unlawfully copied sound recordings belonging to the labels in order to train their AI models to generate music which would saturate the market and compete with genuine recordings. The AI companies have both declined to comment on whether unlicensed copyrights were included in their datasets for training. In bringing forward the case, the music giants hope to get an injunction which would prohibit the companies from continuing to train their AI models on copyrighted songs, in addition to seeking damages from the infringements which they claim have already taken place.  

In the banking sector, online lender WeBank – backed by Tencent Holdings – has been given the green light to set up a fintech unit in Hong Kong. With regulatory approval obtained from China, the new unit will manage WeBank’s overseas business as well as offering services to countries and regions which are covered by the Belt and Road Initiative. Having been launched just a decade ago, WeBank is now China’s biggest online-only lender. 

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