Pollock Cohen Files Class Action Lawsuit Against Tech Company for Cloning Actors’ Voices Without Permission

May 16, 2024

NEW YORK, May 16, 2024Pollock Cohen LLP has filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of voice-over actors who had their voices cloned, and then sold by a tech company, all without the actors’ knowledge, permission or compensation. The action against California-based LOVO, Inc. was filed in federal court in the Southern District of New York. Click for complaint.

The lead plaintiffs, Paul Skye Lehrman and Linnea Sage, both professional actors, discovered that LOVO had fraudulently used their voices to teach the AI-driven software how to replicate human-sounding voices. Lovo then sold Lehrman’s and Sage’s cloned voices to thousands of customers for use in commercials, films, presentations, websites and many other projects – all without permission or compensation.

The lawsuit alleges violations of an individual’s rights of publicity, deceptive business practices, and fraud among other claims and seeks to certify a class of hundreds of voice-over actors.

LOVO claims to have used thousands of actors’ voices to train its AI-voice generator and boasts that it offers 500 different voices as part of its subscription service. LOVO also claims to have two million users that have created more than seven million voiceovers.

 “Actors work hard to perfect their craft, making careful choices about their career,” said Lehrman, who is best known for his work on NBC’s New Amsterdam. “LOVO's actions have hijacked our voices, using them in ways we could neither foresee nor approve.”

Sage, who is known for her roles in video games like MARVEL Snap and commercial work, added, “LOVO has sold our voices to thousands of customers, and we have absolutely no control over how they use our voices. I feel violated. They could be selling our voices to anyone for any reason to be used for any purpose – not just to competitors but potentially to pornographers or political extremists. With no idea or control we lose control of our destinies and our identities.”

The complaint also includes a screen-shot of LOVO’s website where it offers customers Genny-generated versions of the voices of celebrities such former President Barack Obama, Conan O’Brien and Elton John. It is unknown at this time whether the lawful owners of those identities, brands and voices authorized LOVO to use their names, images or voices.

“The unauthorized use of people’s likeness, including their voices, by big tech is one of the issues that was at the heart of the recent actor’s union strike,” said Steve Cohen, a partner at Pollock Cohen LLP, which is representing Lehrman, Sage, and the proposed class. “Linnea and Paul are young actors who work hard to make enough to make ends meet. They are far from the celebrity world and understandably worry that Lovo’s unauthorized use of their voices might deprive them of future opportunities and income. In the last few months, similar lawsuits have been filed by The New York Times, John Grisham, Sarah Silverman and others against tech giants misusing AI. This lawsuit is the next chapter in the fight against the misappropriation of people’s talent, creative assets, and hard work.”

About Pollock Cohen LLP

Pollock Cohen LLP is an impact-driven litigation firm that delivers unusually effective plaintiff-side legal representation. We are known for our ability to solve client problems—with strategy, creativity, and thought—both inside the courtroom and outside the four corners of a legalistic approach. We thrive on representing plaintiffs in cases that are impactful and meaningful, and where we can make a difference. For more information, visit www.pollockcohen.com