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TikTok Gets Tangled In Lawsuit With Voice Of Its Text-To-Speech Function
By Alexa Heah, 17 May 2021
Image via diy13 / Shutterstock.com
Last year, TikTok added the text-to-speech function as an accessibility measure, which has now become one of the most popular features on the app.
However, it seems that the woman behind the voice, Bev Standing, had not given the social media platform permission to use her recordings.
The BBC reports that Standing is now suing TikTok for using her voice, though she’s said she wouldn’t have minded if the company had reimbursed her before using it. Users on the app have been borrowing her voice as the standard narration tool to voice their videos.
“When I realized you could get me to say anything you want … that’s when I kind of got upset. I’m certainly hoping it doesn’t affect my business in a negative way,” she said, as per Input.
Interestingly, Standing has never recorded her voice for TikTok. She also says she doesn’t use the app.
She did record 10,000 sentences of audio for the Chinese Institute of Acoustics in 2018, for use in its voice translation tools. It’s possible those recordings may have been sold to TikTok, which created its text-to-speech function using her voice without Standing’s permission.
It’s unknown if TikTok knew Standing hadn’t given permission for the sale of her audio recordings.
In media, where copyright laws are confusing at best, it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out on one of the world’s most-used apps.
[via BBC, Input, cover image via diy13 / Shutterstock.com]
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