Legal Dispute Arises Over AI Recreation of SPB's Voice

SPB's son issues notice to 'Keeda Kola' makers for recreation.

Hyderabad: No doubt, the makers of Telugu comic-caper ‘Keeda Kola’ are in trouble for recreating late S P Balasubramaniam’s voice through Artificial Intelligence (AI) and deepfake technology. The issue came to light now as playback singer S P Kalyan Charan, son of late legendary singer SPB, who passed due to Covid related complications in 2020, on Friday, February 16, 2024, said that he had issued a legal notice to the producers of Telugu film ‘Keeda Cola’ and the film’s music director Vivek Sagar for “inappropriately” recreating Mr. Balasubrahmanyam’s voice through Artificial Intelligence.

In a press release, Charan said: “While we really love how technology is used to its fullest potential to give his voice a posthumous life, the family is disheartened when the same technology is utilised without our knowledge, consent, or authorisation for commercial exploitation”.

This fact, he said, was admitted by the music director himself in his interview to a YouTube channel and Spotify page ‘Permit Room’ published on November 28, 2023. “This shocked us for two reasons, firstly because no consent or permission was taken from us to use/artificially mimic the legend’s voice for commercial exploitation, secondly: if this trend of using AI technology for commercial exploitation in entertainment industry continues without valid consent or permission then even the present and future singers who are valuable resource to the music industry and whose livelihood depends on their only asset, their voice, will be at peril.”

On this note, he said a legal notice was issued on January 18, 2024, to the concerned parties for unethical and unlawful usage of the late S.P.Balasubrahmanyam’s voice, seeking an apology, damages, and a share in royalties. The legal notice also called them for a one-on-one meeting to arrive at an amicable solution.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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