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SPB's 'AI Voice'- Family Issues Legal Notice

SPB's 'AI Voice'- Family Issues Legal Notice

The family of the late S P Balasubrahmanyam (SPB) has taken legal action against the producers and music director of the Telugu film Keedaa Cola for utilizing the legendary playback singer's voice through Artificial Intelligence (AI) and deepfake technology without their authorization.

The legal notice was issued by SPB's son, S P Kalyan Charan. He expressed that while their family supports the use of technology to keep the late singer's voice alive, they were disappointed that it was done without their knowledge and consent for commercial gain.

"I believe there's a proper way to do this," Charan stated. "Technology should serve humanity and not jeopardize livelihoods. In this instance, I felt it was a positive opportunity to involve the families and ensure the singers' legacies are upheld."

Charan mentioned that he sent a legal notice to the producers and music director of the film on January 18, 2024, demanding an apology, compensation, and a share in royalties. He also invited them for a direct discussion to find a mutually acceptable resolution.

"However, we were dismayed by the response, which not only acknowledged the use of Late S P Balasubrahmanyam's voice through AI technology but also dishonestly suggested a trial by media instead of a legal approach," Charan remarked. "We refrain from resorting to underhanded tactics and have no intention of escalating this issue through media scrutiny, opting instead to pursue legal recourse."

This development arises amid discussions on the ethicality of employing the voices of deceased singers using technology. Recently, Oscar-winning music director A R Rahman utilized the voices of two late singers with proper permission.

Charan emphasized that if the trend of exploiting AI technology for commercial purposes in the entertainment industry continues without valid consent or permission, it could potentially impact both present and future singers.


Tags: S P Balasubramanyam S P Charan Keedaa Cola