Dudesy sued for AI-generated George Carlin copyright abuse

Occurred: January 2024

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The media company behind an purportedly AI-generated comedy special that attempted to recreate the US comedian George Carlin is being sued by Carlin's estate.

George Carlin: I’m Glad I’m Dead shows Carlin, who died in 2008, commentating on current events. The beginning of the now offline hour-long video featured a voiceover identifying itself as the AI engine used by media firm Dudesy says it listened to the comic’s 50 years of material and 'did my best to imitate his voice, cadence and attitude as well as the subject matter I think would have interested him today.'

The defendants named in the suit are Dudesy LLC and podcast hosts Will Sasso and Chad Kultgen. 'None of the Defendants had permission to use Carlin’s likeness for the AI-generated ‘George Carlin Special,’ nor did they have a license to use any of the late comedian’s copyrighted materials,' the suit reads. 

Will Sasso later told the New York Times that ‘I’m Glad I’m Dead’ was 'completely' written by Chad Kultgen. In 2023, former NFL star Tom Brady threatened to file a similar lawsuit against Dudesy for creating a self-labeled AI-generated comedy special using his likeness.

In March 2024, Carlin's estate settled with the two podcast hosts. Sasso and Kultgen agreed to permanently remove the comedy special and to never repost it on any platform. According to court records, they also agreed not to use Mr. Carlin’s image, voice or likeness on any platform without approval from the estate. 


Operator: Kelly Carlin
Developer: Chad Kultgen; Will Sasso
Country: USA
Sector: Media/entertainment/sports/arts
Purpose: Imitate George Carlin
Technology: Machine learning
Issue: Copyright


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