Benign Uses for Deepfake Audio

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anorlunda
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Last night we watched a nature film narrated by David Attenborough. (who else?)

It occurred to me that no nature film now or in the near future could be a success with any voice other than Mr. Attenborough's. It cries for deepfake Attenborough voices after his retirement or death.

Would his heirs have a legal cause of action? If yes, what is the underlying law?

We think of deepfakes as threats to civilization. Might there be more benign uses of deepfakes?
 
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phinds
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We think of deepfakes as threats to civilization. Might there be more benign uses of deepfakes?
Well, technology is rarely bad in and of itself (it could be that the atomic bomb is arguably an exception, although it did lead to peaceful power generation) it's what you DO with it that can be bad, so I'd say yes.
 
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I agree! I watched Life on Netflix last week and it would not be the same without his voice.
 
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gleem
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Google is your friend.

It probably comes under "personality rights", that is the right of a person to control the use of ones image or name or anything that might be associated with that person (voice?). Attenborough being a celebrity I would assume has this form of legal protection. The identifiers of a personality are considered property and this right can survive the death of the individual but this protection may vary according to jurisdiction.
 
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anorlunda
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There are many jurisdictions. Only some of them include voice, and only some of them extend protection after death.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personality_rights

But there must also be exceptions. Otherwise the heirs to Mr. Rogers could sue over the movie, and Richard Jewel could sue over the soon to come movie. Not to mention Elvis impersonators. I think the laws must allow a lot of wiggle room.
 
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BillTre
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What about cases of non-human media entities, like Mickey Mouse?
Disney got that locked down I suppose.
 
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anorlunda
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For people of my generation, the voice of Walter Cronkite would be a winner.
 
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robphy
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possibly interesting,

Three videos with Roger Ebert from about 2011... a pre-cursor to the proposed audio deepfakes:




another video &t=6m10s



another video &t=5m16s




a project I stumbled on:



another &t=1m43s
 

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