Oakland, CA asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for California

Q: If one were to use a AI-generated celebrity voice for a commercial or YT video, would a disclaimer allow for its use?

VO of a deceased NYC person. Recent 2020 NY bill S5959D: This provision allows an exception when there is a “conspicuous disclaimer in the credits” and in advertisements stating that the use is not authorized.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: The use of a celebrity's voice, even if AI-generated, can potentially violate rights of publicity, which exist both at a state and federal level, and may expose you to liability for unauthorized use. While you mentioned a New York statute, California has its own laws regarding the post-mortem right of publicity that extend 70 years after the individual's death, and it does not contain the same "conspicuous disclaimer" exception. Before proceeding with such a use, it would be prudent to consult with an attorney to evaluate the specific risks and ensure compliance with all applicable laws.

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