Contract Conditions for AI
Recommendations for Contract Creation for Voice Syntheses for Use in Generative AI by the Association of German Voice Actors
As the synthesis of voices and their use via AI is almost unregulated at the moment, so that the rights of the involved parties are not clearly protected (e.g., personality rights, copyright, claims for remuneration, liability, etc.), UVA strongly warns its members against careless handling of such usage.
No fee can reflect the complete loss of market value of a voice actor and self-determination over one's own voice.
For this reason, UVA currently does not issue fee recommendations for this segment, except for classic TTS voice syntheses.
As the use of AI and synthetic voices is unstoppable and brings some good (e.g., accessibility), UVA is committed enforce regulation in this area on a global scale.
Below you will find the conditions which must be adhered to for voice synthesis commissions for use in generative AI, confirmed in writing before signing an NDA, and put in a written contract before the recording:
The remuneration should be appropriate. Remuneration is considered appropriate if it considers the following factors:
- Time investment and workload for recording and any subsequent processing
- Usage rights (duration, media, products/programs, location)
- Possibly ongoing licensing fees for individual evaluations with individually bookable voice usage (e.g., a portal where individual voices can be purchased for a specific purpose, e.g., for telephone announcements,commercials, etc.)
- Coverage of any exclusivity for the usage period and thereby a
professional ban for the voice actor
- Coverage of the resulting overexposure and voice wear of the voice actor during and after the usage period
2. Copyright & Intellectual Property Rights
It should be clearly defined who owns the rights to the synthesized voice and how it may be used. In the EU, voice actors are protected by copyright and intellectual property rights.
3. Data Protection
The client must ensure that the personal data of the voice actor is protected. In the EU, data protection is strictly regulated by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
The data required for synthesis and the resulting information must not be transferred or processed outside of the EU at any time. This means that the servers on which the AI is hosted and the servers on which the algorithm is located and the clone is processed should be located in the EU to prevent abuse and ensure adequate data protection.
4. Personality Rights - The Right to One's Own Voice
The voice actor is particularly protected by personality rights, which include the right to one's own voice. This right cannot be transferred, even in the case of synthesizing one's own voice. The voice actor should thus be able to refuse usage of the recordings that goes beyond the originally agreed purpose, even if additional remuneration is offered.
5. Specific Products/Programs
The contract should specify exactly for which products or programs the synthesized voice may be used and to what extent it is made available to users. This could be specific software, a specific device, a specific platform, or a specific service. Unrestricted use can also be agreed upon. However, a clear definition is necessary to appropriately determine remuneration and usage rights (see above).
6. Exclusion of Certain Content & Abuse
The voice actor should have the right to exclude certain types of content. This could involve the use of his/her voice for political, religious, erotic, or other controversial content.
Furthermore, any misuse of the voice by the client should be prohibited and prosecuted at their own expense.
The client should bear the duty of care and must inform the voice actor immediately upon becoming aware of the misuse or use in excluded content.
7. Consent to New Uses
If the company wants to use the synthesized voice for a new product, program, function, or a changed user group not listed in the original contract, it must obtain the consent of the voice actors in writing as a contract amendment beforehand.
8. Quality of the Synthesis
The voice actor might be interested in how well the synthesized voice imitates his/her natural voice and how well it implements language (e.g., phonetics, speech melody, emphasis, expression). Poor synthesis could further damage his/her reputation. The voice actor should have the right to approve the synthesis after completion and demand a more accurate and realistic speech synthesis of their own voice before publication.
9. Contract Conditions
The contract conditions should be clear and understandable and cover all relevant points.
10. Lawyer & Legal Costs
The voice actor should be granted sufficient time to have the contract reviewed by a lawyer of their choice. Legal review and advice on voice synthesis contracts are indispensable. The client should bear the costs for this.
11. Contract Language
The contract should be drafted in the voice actor's native language so that the voice actor can fully understand it. Should it be necessary to be formulated in a different language (i.e. english) the client should bear the costs for the translation into the voice actor´s native tongue
The jurisdiction stated in the contract must be the country, the voice actor is located.
The voice actor should be exempted from any liability for the content produced with his/her synthesized voice. All liability lies with the client. The client should have liability insurance for this.
To address specific concerns, voice actors and clients could take the following measures:
Loss of Control Over One's Own Voice
To avoid this, the contract should clearly define how and where the synthesized voice may be used. The voice actor should have the right to exclude certain uses and request consent for new uses.
Loss of Uniqueness
To preserve the uniqueness of the voice actor's voice, the contract could include a clause that limits the distribution of the synthesized voice. For example, usage could be restricted to certain products or services.
Loss of Future Revenue
To avoid this, the voice actor could demand an ongoing licensing fee for the use of the synthesized voice and the time thereafter. This would ensure that the voice actor continues to receive income from the use and reputation loss of his/her voice.
Data Protection and Security
To protect the personal data of the voice actor, the client should adhere to strict data protection and security measures. The contract should also contain clauses that prohibit the misuse of the synthesized voice.
Quality of the Synthesis
To ensure that the synthesized voice is of high quality, the voice actor should work with a reputable and experienced company that uses advanced speech synthesis technologies.
To address legal concerns, the voice actor should seek legal advice. The contract should respect and protect the rights of the voice actor to his/her voice, including his/her copyrights, intellectual property rights, and personality rights.
Ethics and Morality
To address ethical and moral concerns, the voice actor should have the right to exclude the use of his/her voice for certain purposes. The client should respect the ethical and moral values of the voice actor and obtain his/her consent for the use of his/her voice in certain contexts.
Through collaboration and open communication, voice actors and clients can ensure that the synthesis of voices is carried out in a way that respects the rights and interests of all parties involved, thus preventing surprises, lengthy legal disputes, and claims for damages.