Voice Actor For TikTok's Famous Text-To-Speech Feature Sues For Unauthorized Use Of Her Voice

May 12th, 2021 - 12:54 PM EDT by Phillip Hamilton

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Canadian voice actor Beverly Standing with microphone next to an image of a phone reading TikTok shrouded in shadows

Late last year, TikTok added a text-to-speech feature to the platform, allowing users to type whatever they want over their videos and have a clear, Alexa-like voice read it for them. The feature has since become one of the most popular on the platform, appearing in countless viral videos and trends ever since.

Understandably, this came as a bit of a shock when Canadian voice actor Beverly Standing, the voice of TikTok's text-to-speech feature in North America, came across it in November 2020, never having given the company permission to use her voice.


On May 6th, Standing filed a complaint against ByteDance E-Commerce Inc. seeking justice for emotional distress caused by the company's unauthorized use of her voice.

The complaint claims Standing recorded around 10,000 sentences for the Chinese Institute of Acoustics a number of years ago for use in a "language translation service," as she was told. While Standing was paid for the work, she was not told it would be licensed or sold. The lawsuit claims six counts of damage, including the right of publicity, violation of N.Y. General Business Law and copyright infringement.

Bytedance has yet to make a statement about the lawsuit. While Standing is the voice of TikTok in North America, the platform also features a number of other text-to-speech voices in other countries. The hashtag #StandingWithBev began circulating on Twitter to support Standing's lawsuit.




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