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ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
Voice Over Rallies To Support Bev Standing's
TikTok Lawsuit. GoFundMe Raising Thousands
May 20, 2021

(VOXtra) - It's been a little over two busy weeks since a lawsuit was filed against social media giant TikTok by voice actor Bev Standing (pictured) for unauthorized use of her voice in that system's text-to-speech feature.

Reports of that suit on VoiceOverXtra and other media have rallied the voice over community on social media:

  • Paul Strikwerda's #StandingwithBev hashtag immediately caught on, along with Strikwerda's suggestion of a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for legal fees. 
  • "Bev's story is making waves ....The digital and AI voice industry is just beginning. We at VOBOSS are #StandingwithBev." - Anne Ganguzza
  • "Extra cheers for Bev. And with Robert (Sciglimpaglia) as her attorney, this ought to be good!" - Rowell Gormon
  • It's a huge wake-up call to any voice actor that thinks that working for a Chinese-owned utility is a good idea. Let's see how TikTok thinks they can make this one go away." - Andy Curtis
  • "When a friend of yours is fighting for justice, do you stand by, helpless, or do you do whatever you can to help them? .... We who are (Bev's) friends are doing whatever we can to support her by using the #StandingwithBev hashtag and letting people know about this mess. So if you use that app (TikTok), PLEASE stop using the female TTS/AI voice." - David Gilbert
Gilbert also initiated a LinkedIn poll, asking:
If you knew someone whose voice was being used without their consent on an app, would you stop using the synthetic voice in support?"
To date, 99% of the respondents say: "Yes, of course."

'DISCUSSION SO IMPORTANT'

To all this, Standing says "I am completely overwhelmed. The support has been tremendous.

"I truly believe the voice over community understands the reason I've chosen this path," she adds, "which is to better the industry and create communication between talent and clients/creatives as to why this discussion is so important - especially as the digital world advances."

At the GoFundMe page, Standing adds: "The universe has provided an opportunity for us to make a difference, and to make this industry better as technology advances."

Also at the GoFundMe page, voice actor Mike Hanson echoes the sentiment of many in the VO community:
"I donated because I admire Bev as a talent and a community-minded voice actor - plus her courage taking on this scary foe for even considering use of others' property, intellectual and otherwise, without seeking permission first, and offering commensurate compensation next. This fight could be expensive and exhausting."
AND TIKTOK REPLIES ...

Well, nothing. Yet.

"There's no response from TikTok yet," says Standing's attorney (and voice actor/actor) Robert Sciglimpaglia. "I'm very pleased that the voice over community is not only following this case, but also supporting it with a GoFundMe campaign."

Money raised there will be put in a trust, Sciglimpaglia adds.

For more about the issue and what's at stake for voice over, check out additional media reports, including:

Bev Takes on TikTok and Why that Matters to You, by Paul Strikwerda - which includes a discussion of the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances






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