Witcher 3 AI voice line simulation copyright abuse

Occurred: April 2021

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The Witcher 3 is an action role-playing game set in a Slavic fictional fantasy world developed by Projekt Red. Launched in 2015, it has been named one of the greatest video games ever made.

In April 2021, GamesRadar+ reported that actor Doug Cockle's voice, which was used for the principal character Geralt, had been recreated in a mod (aka modification) called A Night to Remember, 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 also told Input that Cockle's parody audio would not be accessible for commercial purposes unless the actor joined the CyberVoice platform. But this 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. 

The recreation also prompted concerns amongst voice actors and others about the use of AI voice technologies to replace jobs.

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: Privacy

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