Witcher 3 AI voice line simulation copyright abuse

Occurred: April 2021

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A video game actor had his voice recreated without his permission in a mod for The Witcher 3,  prompting accusations of copyright abuse and prompting concerns amongst voice actors and others about the use of AI voice technologies to replace jobs.

GamesRadar+ reported that actor Doug Cockle's voice, which was used for the principal character Geralt, had been recreated in a mod (aka modification) for The Witcher 3 called A Night to Remember, thereby allowing the mod team to generate new dialogue in addition to reusing and remixing existing voice lines.  

It transpired that Cockle's voice had been recreated using Russian company Mind Simulation Lab's CyberVoice speech synthesis technology without his explicit permission, prompting accusations of copyright abuse. Mind Simulation Lab told Input that Cockle's parody audio would not be accessible for commercial purposes unless the actor joined the CyberVoice platform. 

However, the Russian company's claim was undermined by A Night to Remember modder nikich340 saying he had asked for specific voice lines from the lab, which Mind Simulation Lab had provided. 

Operator: Anonymous/pseudonymous; CD Projekt Red
Developer: Anonymous/pseudonymous; Mind Simulation Lab
Country: USA
Sector: Media/entertainment/sports/arts
Purpose: Simulate voice dialogue
Technology: Voice synthesis
Issue: Copyright; Employment - jobs
Transparency: Governance

Page info
Type: Incident
Published: June 2021
Last updated: October 2023