Potential Courtroom Showdown: Scarlett Johansson Faces Off Against OpenAI


Legal experts weigh in on OpenAI’s potential right of publicity issues with Scarlett Johansson

OpenAI’s recent unveiling of its new AI voice, “Sky,” has sparked controversy and potential legal challenges in the entertainment industry. The AI voice, which some say bears a striking resemblance to actress Scarlett Johansson, has raised questions about the boundaries of imitation and right of publicity.

Legal experts have differing opinions on whether OpenAI’s creation of Sky constitutes clear-cut impersonation. While some argue that the superficial similarity between Sky and Johansson may not be enough to warrant a right of publicity claim, others believe that the use of Johansson’s voice, even in imitation, raises legal concerns.

The lack of federal right-of-publicity laws in the United States adds a layer of complexity to the situation, with a patchwork of state statutes governing such matters. OpenAI’s CEO, Sam Altman, further fueled speculation by referencing Johansson’s performance in the movie “Her” in a social media post, leading some to question the company’s intentions.

Some legal experts speculate that OpenAI may have purposely stirred up controversy in order to generate publicity. However, others argue that the company’s actions could have legal repercussions, particularly if Johansson decides to pursue a case in California where right-of-publicity laws are more robust.

In the midst of this debate, one thing remains clear—OpenAI’s unveiling of Sky has ignited a discussion about the ethical and legal implications of using AI to replicate human voices in the entertainment industry.

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