Los Angeles - The estate of George Carlin has recently taken legal action against the media company behind a counterfeit hour-long comedy special. This special claims to utilize artificial intelligence to recreate the style and material of the late stand-up comedian.
The lawsuit was filed in a federal court in Los Angeles on Thursday. It requests that the podcast outlet Dudesy immediately remove the audio special titled "George Carlin: I'm Glad I'm Dead." The special features a synthetic version of Carlin providing commentary on current events. It is worth noting that George Carlin passed away in 2008.
Kelly Carlin, daughter of George Carlin, expressed her discontent with the work, calling it "a poorly executed facsimile cobbled together by unscrupulous individuals to capitalize on the extraordinary goodwill my father established with his adoring fanbase."
The suit, which alleges violations of Carlin's right of publicity and copyright, was filed by the Carlin estate and its executor, Jerold Hamza. Dudesy, along with podcast hosts Will Sasso and Chad Kultgen, are named as defendants.
Artificial Intelligence Sparks Copyright Controversy
In a recent YouTube special, an AI engine named Dudesy claims to have carefully studied and replicated the iconic voice and style of the late comedian George Carlin. However, this AI impersonation has raised concerns, with some doubting its authenticity and arguing that it infringes upon Carlin's copyright.
As part of their promotional efforts, the company behind the AI project has also released a podcast episode featuring the voices of comedian Bryan Callen (impersonating Carlin) and writer Joe Kultgen, discussing and commenting on the imitation. In one section of the episode cited in the lawsuit, Kultgen asks if the impersonation was convincing, to which Callen responds affirmatively, asserting that it sounded "exactly like George Carlin."
This legal battle is just the beginning of what may become a growing trend in opposition to the use of AI-generated celebrity likenesses. The issue of AI was already a significant point of contention during last year's Hollywood writers and actors strikes.
Josh Schiller, the plaintiffs' attorney, emphasizes that this case is not just about AI but also about holding accountable those who use AI to violate intellectual-property rights and disregard common decency.
This lawsuit marks an important development in the ongoing debate surrounding the use of AI technology in the entertainment industry. As concerns and conflicts continue to arise, it is clear that the legal landscape surrounding AI creations is still evolving.
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