Voice Actors Are Quitting Voices.com Due To Voices.ai Acquisition
Voices has acquired Voices.ai and is planning to launch a software development platform for voice applications.
The platform will include application programming interfaces, libraries, frameworks, documentation, tutorials, and cloud infrastructure services.
David Ciccarelli, CEO and founder of Voices, stated "While there will always be a place for voice actors who bring their unique interpretation to a script and create character voices, there are many applications that don't require artistic interpretation. These applications, traditionally known as industrials, are a perfect fit for synthetic voices, more commonly referred to as AI voices." (Source: SpeechTextMag)
The recently updated Terms of Service on Voices.com raise significant concerns for voice actors using the platform.
One of the most concerning aspects is the section on Intellectual Property, specifically the clause on User Generated Content (UGC). According to this clause, each User (whether Talent or Client) grants Voices an irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide, unrestricted, fully paid up, royalty-free, non-exclusive right and license to reproduce, copy, publish, perform in public, communicate to the public by telecommunication, disseminate, optimize, synchronize with other content and materials, edit, translate, transcribe, close caption, and otherwise store, use, and process all User Generated Content (in whole or in part, as is or as may be edited) and any materials based upon or derived therefrom for the purpose of providing the Services, promoting Voices, its services and the Site.
This means that Voices can use any UGC uploaded to their platform for any purpose they see fit, without compensating the User or even notifying them.
Another concerning aspect is the clause on Work Product. According to this clause, Talent grants Voices an irrevocable non-exclusive license to access, store, process, and otherwise use the Work Product to the extent required to perform its obligations and the Services under this Agreement, including the right to deliver the Work Product to Client in accordance with the terms of this Agreement.
While this clause may seem reasonable at first glance, it means that Voices can use the Work Product created by Talent without their explicit permission, and even deliver it to Clients without their knowledge or consent.
Furthermore, the terms and conditions state that Work Product that is in voice format and is created or rendered using artificial intelligence software or algorithms must be disclosed as such by the Talent in any Talent Response or Job Agreement.
This raises concerns that Voices may be using auditions or voiceover jobs to train synthetic voices and AI models without the knowledge or permission of the voice actors.
It's important for voice actors to be aware of these potential risks before using Voices.com. While the platform may offer access to a large pool of potential clients, the cost of giving up control over their UGC and Work Product may not be worth it in the long run. Additionally, voice actors should carefully review and consider all terms and conditions before signing up for any platform, and consult with legal counsel if necessary.