What Scarlett Johansson v. OpenAI Could Look Like in Court | EUROtoday

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It doesn’t matter whether or not an individual’s precise voice is utilized in an imitation or not, Rothman says, solely whether or not that audio confuses listeners. In the authorized system, there’s a massive distinction between imitation and easily recording one thing “in the style” of another person. “No one owns a style,” she says.

Other authorized specialists don’t see what OpenAI did as a clear-cut impersonation. “I think that any potential ‘right of publicity’ claim from Scarlett Johansson against OpenAI would be fairly weak given the only superficial similarity between the ‘Sky’ actress’ voice and Johansson, under the relevant case law,” Colorado legislation professor Harry Surden wrote on X on Tuesday. Frye, too, has doubts. “OpenAI didn’t say or even imply it was offering the real Scarlett Johansson, only a simulation. If it used her name or image to advertise its product, that would be a right-of-publicity problem. But merely cloning the sound of her voice probably isn’t,” he says.

But that doesn’t imply OpenAI is essentially within the clear. “Juries are unpredictable,” Surden added.

Frye can also be unsure how any case would possibly play out, as a result of he says proper of publicity is a reasonably “esoteric” space of legislation. There aren’t any federal right-of-publicity legal guidelines within the United States, solely a patchwork of state statutes. “It’s a mess,” he says, though Johansson may carry a swimsuit in California, which has pretty strong right-of-publicity legal guidelines.

OpenAI’s possibilities of defending a right-of-publicity swimsuit could possibly be weakened by a one-word publish on X—“her”—from Sam Altman on the day of final week’s demo. It was extensively interpreted as a reference to Her and Johansson’s efficiency. “It feels like AI from the movies,” Altman wrote in a weblog publish that day.

To Grimmelmann at Cornell, these references weaken any potential protection OpenAI would possibly mount claiming the state of affairs is all a giant coincidence. “They intentionally invited the public to make the identification between Sky and Samantha. That’s not a good look,” Grimmelmann says. “I wonder whether a lawyer reviewed Altman’s ‘her’ tweet.” Combined with Johansson’s revelations that the corporate had certainly tried to get her to supply a voice for its chatbots—twice over—OpenAI’s insistence that Sky will not be meant to resemble Samantha is troublesome for some to imagine.

“It was a boneheaded move,” says David Herlihy, a copyright lawyer and music trade professor at Northeastern University. “A miscalculation.”

Other attorneys see OpenAI’s habits as so manifestly goofy they think the entire scandal is perhaps a deliberate stunt—that OpenAI judged that it may set off controversy by going ahead with a sound-alike after Johansson declined to take part however that the eye it might obtain from appeared to outweigh any penalties. “What’s the point? I say it’s publicity,” says Purvi Patel Albers, a associate on the legislation agency Haynes Boone who typically takes mental property circumstances. “The only compelling reason—maybe I’m giving them too much credit—is that everyone’s talking about them now, aren’t they?”