As multiple government and lobbying organizations try to create regulations, standards, and intellectual property rights protections, multimedia localization company Deepdub announced on December 6, 2023, a new “Voice Artist Royalty Program” to allow voice over artists to be paid every time their voice is used in a project.
The firm calls the program “the first initiative of its kind to provide fair compensation to voice talent for the use of their voices in AI-powered dubbing, voice cloning, and other synthetic voice projects.”
The topic of AI use in the entertainment industry captured headlines when using artists’ voices and likenesses without compensation became a point of contention for unions (and later part of the contractual negotiations), during the 2023 Hollywood strikes. Deepdub works with numerous Hollywood studios and others on multilingual film and TV projects, and is directly affected by any developments in the sector.
“As the use of Deepdub’s technologies grows, we find it fitting to extend the opportunity for passive monetization to more voice contributors,” explained the company’s CEO, Ofir Krakowski, referring to the reasoning behind the Voice Artist Royalty Program. He also told Slator that the Deepdub platform ensures full commercial rights for contributors.
During a SlatorPod episode in July 2023, Krakowski shared with Slator that the company collaborates with organizations such as the BFFS artists union to find ways to combine human talent with technology. The CEO also emphasized how Deepdub’s platform incorporates both AI solutions and human curation.
To participate in the program, professional voice artists must submit a sample of their voice for approval. Those who meet requirements are added to Deepdub’s voice marketplace and their voice becomes available for use in audio-visual productions. Every time a voice is used in a project, the artist gets paid.
Setting a Benchmark
When asked if the company expected to influence production houses as well as the localization industry with the artist compensation program, Krakowski told Slator that “Deepdub actively contributes to shaping industry standards for the use of generative AI in language services. We actively contribute to the Digital Entertainment Group committee, utilizing our expertise and knowledge to play a significant role in advising industry professionals.”
The company has also been offering lectures on ethics and AI usage at professional conferences and events like the Cannes Film Festival. Krakowski elaborated on the matter, saying that “our commitment to quality products aligns with ethical, legal, and security standards, establishing us as pioneers in safeguarding the rights of voice artists.”
Deepdub’s AI-enabled offering includes text-to-speech dubbing at scale via its proprietary technology, which the company stated has built-in commercial rights.