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The Reasons Why OpenAI Should Be Concerned About a Scarlett Johansson Lawsuit

image credit:Imdb image credit:Imdb
image credit:Imdb image credit:Imdb

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This is possible considering Johansson’s assertion that OpenAI wanted to hire her to voice a ChatGPT AI assistant and used a sound-alike voice when she declined. Due to the legal repercussions of using a celebrity’s voice without permission, OpenAI’s CEO and co-founder, Sam Altman, could be sued.

Opponents say OpenAI’s apparent legal misunderstanding or willful ignorance underscores the lack of industry governance in AI, which has risen as technology develops. This case also highlights the necessity for author rights, especially in AI-generated work.

The delay in OpenAI’s feedback request, which is crucial to understanding their perspective and legal defense, has increased the urgency of the situation.
Based on the information, legal experts believe OpenAI may have violated one of two forms of legislation. Copyright laws protect creative writing, whereas right-of-publicity laws protect people’s likenesses and voices from commercial exploitation.

First, examine copyright laws. OpenAI may have violated copyright restrictions by using Johansson’s movie or other works in Sky, ChatGPT’s enticing voice assistant.
Johansson, who is suing ChatGPT, was “shocked and angered” by this voice.

University of San Francisco law professor Li, specializing in intellectual property and technology, suggests delaying copyright complaints may be adequate. However, the second law will still affect OpenAI.
Li told Threads that OpenAI used Scarlett Johansson speech samples sparingly. “She has a valid publicity claim.Some states protect likenesses via right-of-publicity laws. California, home to Hollywood and OpenAI, has strict rules.

image credit:MLYearning

California law forbids using a person’s “name, voice, signature, photograph, or likeness” for “advertising or selling, or soliciting purchases of, products, merchandise, goods, or services.”
OpenAI may argue that its viral videos showing Sky’s potential were not advertising or sales promotions, according to Public Knowledge’s legal director, John Bergmayer.
“I am of the opinion that the use in a highly hyped promotional video or presentation easily meets that test,” she stated.
OpenAI may deny utilizing Johansson’s voice, claiming the video’s marketing and emulation goals. However, legal experts contend that a huge body of case law and one unfavorable OpenAI fact contradict this position.
Bette Midler’s example.
About six examples suggest OpenAI could face legal concerns. There are two important ones below.
Bette Midler’s 1988 case dictated the law. She sued Ford for voice-imitated ads and won. A backup vocalist recorded the advertisement when Midler rejected it. The reproduction’s close resemblance to the original led many to believe Midler was in the advertisement. This case shows the legal risks of OpenAI utilizing a sound-alike voice without permission.
The Ninth Circuit sided with Midler.
“Why did the defendants request that Midler sing if her voice was of no value to them?” The court ruled. “Why did they meticulously hire a sound-alike and instruct her to imitate Midler if Midler’s voice was of no value to them?” Midler’s identity was sought. Midler might have earned the ad’s value by performing it live.
The Ninth Circuit awarded Tom Waits $2.6 million in 1992 for a Doritos ad that mimicked his raspy voice. The court supported Midler’s ruling, confirming California’s freedom of publicity law protects expression. This case shows OpenAI’s legal risks for misusing a celebrity’s voice.


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