Voice Actors Sue AI Company Lovo for Allegedly Stealing Their Voices

Two voice actors, Paul Skye Lehrman and Linnea Sage, are suing AI firm Lovo for allegedly using their voices to create AI-generated versions without permission.

Voice Actors Sue AI Company Lovo for Allegedly Stealing Their Voices
Voice actors Linnea Sage and Paul Lehrman in New York on May 14, 2024. Sage and Lehrman are suing an AI company for allegedly creating clones of their voices without their permission. Elianel Clinton/The New York Times/Redux

Lehrman and Sage believe they were tricked into providing voice samples in 2020 through the freelance website Fiverr. They were told the recordings would be used for academic research or internal purposes only. However, years later, they discovered their voices being used in YouTube videos and podcasts they never recorded.

The lawsuit, filed in New York, claims Lovo misrepresented how the voice samples would be used. Lehrman and Sage allege Lovo used their voices to create AI models they now sell, without the actors' consent or compensation. They argue this is essentially "theft of service" and are seeking over $5 million in damages along with a court order to stop Lovo from using their voices.

This lawsuit highlights growing concerns about how AI technologies are trained using creative work, potentially infringing on copyright and intellectual property rights. Lehrman and Sage's case is one of several recent legal actions by creatives against tech companies for using their work to train AI that might eventually replace them.