Lawsuit Signed Against TikTok for Using an Audio in One of Its Features Without Consent

If you are an active TikTok user, you must know about the TikTok trend that appeared in December 2020 and has made itself constant since then unlike other trends which come and go. If you haven’t guessed yet that what we are talking about, let us tell you.

You must have seen TikTok videos on which a written text appears while a voice narrates the written sentence in the background, the feature is called text to speech. The audio in this feature is different for different regions, like for example in the UK a male voice appears while in the North America a female audio was used. “Was” being the keyword here.

For the first half of 2021, TikTok users in North America experienced a very calming Siri like narration for the text on the feature but since the past few weeks’ users have observed that that voice tone has been replaced by a more upbeat one. Many users were concerned as to why that happened and many displayed their sentiments that they missed the old tone and the new one seemed to be lacking the hilarious emotionless vibes and the funny mispronunciations to some words like the old one. Some even claimed this new voice sounded more like a fake enthusiastic Barbie knock off.

Well, looks like we now have the answer to as to why that voice tone changed. A few weeks ago a lawsuit was filed against Byte Dance which is the parent company of TikTok by a women named Bev Standing. Bev is a voice actor and she claimed that the voice the tech giant has been using in its feature belongs to her, further claiming that she did not sign a contract or agreed with TikTok to let the company use her voice. She said that she has done many voice overs but that were only for translation purposes and nothing beyond that and TikTok using her voice without her consent is against the law. The lawsuit states that the Institute of Acoustics was supposed to use Bev’s voice for Chinese Translations and she had no link with TikTok in the matter. She immediately recognized her voice once people started sending TikTok videos to her with the new feature.

The tech giant soon after the law suit was signed changed their text to speech feature’s voice and though the company has not commented anything on the matter yet from the looks of it, it seems like they are taking the lawsuit very seriously.

The lawsuit was signed against the voice used in the North America and though the current voice has changed, the audio in the old already made videos will remain the same obviously.

H/T: TheVerge.

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