Actor sues TikTok for using her voice without permission

‘If you want to use someone’s voice, pay for it,’ Bev Standing says

Peony Hirwani@peony_hirwani
Tuesday 11 May 2021 11:50
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Voice actor Bev Standing has sued TikTok for using her voice for its text-to-speech function in the North American version of the app.

The lawsuit revealed that the actor’s voice is being used in thousands of viral videos containing “foul and offensive language” causing “irreparable harm” to her reputation.

In 2018, for translation purposes, Ms Standing recorded 10,000 sentences of audio for the Chinese Institute of Acoustics.

The Canada-based actor told the BBC that she didn’t give consent for those recordings to be reused or resold to any other entity.

“My voice is my product - it’s my business,” she said.

“You can’t just use it and not reimburse me for what I do. If you want to use someone’s voice, pay for it,” she said.

Her lawyer Robert Sciglimpaglia commented: “The technology exists where anyone’s voice can be replicated through artificial intelligence.”

“This is not an issue just about celebrities or voice actors, who of course will be hugely impacted because their livelihood is literally being taken away from them. This is also about ordinary people,” he said.

Sciglimpaglia disclosed that the legal suit was filed in New York this month and neither TikTok nor Bytedance have responded to the filings so far.

The Independent has reached out to TikTok for a comment.

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