Reed Smith In-depth

Key takeaways

  • Recent litigation filed against AI technology company targets the company’s use of actors’ voices without permission or compensation.
  • The lawsuit gives rise to a number of considerations, including how rights of publicity and IP protections may apply to use of voice in AI training, as well as reminder of the importance of proper licensing terms and permissions.
  • Businesses that develop or deploy AI should explore how to work with such technologies to avoid or limit exposure, such as through media liability, cyber and general liability insurance coverage.


With the proliferation of artificial intelligence (AI) technology, how developers are utilizing data for training purposes has come under scrutiny. Recently, voice-over actors filed a proposed class action in the Southern District of New York alleging that LOVO, Inc. – a technology company that enables customers to create and edit voice-over narrations adapted from real actors through generative AI – stole their voices and identities without permission or compensation. In their suit, the actors accuse LOVO of violating state and federal law by purchasing their voice clips without disclosing how their voices would be used. Specifically, the actors allege that without their permission, LOVO used their voices in both its AI text-to-speech software and subscription services. While courts are reviewing a number of cases involving the use of data in training generative AI (GenAI) tools, this is one of the first cases to be based on rights of publicity.

Below we break down the plaintiffs’ key allegations and the lawsuit’s potential impact in several areas, ranging from intellectual property to insurance recovery.


Plaintiffs allege that LOVO violated New York state civil and publicity laws, as well as the federal Lanham Act, through false advertising, unfair competition and unjust enrichment, among other acts, when it failed to disclose that plaintiffs’ voices would be used to train AI technologies and subsequently used their voices to produce AI-generated voice-overs for commercial purposes without permission or consent. The class includes other actors whose voices were misused by LOVO. Plaintiffs are seeking compensatory and punitive damages exceeding $5 million, as well as injunctive relief to prevent further misuse of their voices and recovery of LOVO’s profits from the alleged scheme.