Amazon accused of using AI to ‘replicate the voices’ of actors in Road House remake

Amazon is being sued by Patrick Swayze, the writer of the original 1989 version of the film Road House alleged copyright infringement in the film remake, Los Angeles Times reported. Screenwriter R. Lance Hill is accusing Amazon and MGM Studios of using artificial intelligence to clone the voices of actors in a new production in order to end the copyright before it expires.

Hill said he filed an application with the US Copyright Office in November 2021 to buy back the rights to his original screenplay, which is the basis of the new film. At the time, the rights were owned by Amazon Studios It is part of the acquisition of MGMbut was due to expire in November 2023. Hill claims that once that happens, the rights will revert to him.

Amazon Studios allegedly began moving forward with the project anyway in order to complete it before the copyright deadline. Hampered by the actor’s strike, Hill claims that Amazon used artificial intelligence to “duplicate the voices” of the actors working on the 2024 remake. Such use violated the terms of the contract between the union and major studios, including Amazon.

The claim is complicated by the fact that Hill signed a “work-for-work” deal with original producer United Artists. This means that the studio that hires the writer will own both the work and the copyright. However, Hill dismissed it as a “pot” commonly used in contracts.

The lawsuit seeks to block the release of the film, which will take place at SXSW on March 8 (controversially) goes live on Prime Video on March 21.

A spokesperson for Amazon denies these claims The Verge that “the studio clearly instructed the filmmakers not to use artificial intelligence in this film.” He added that if artificial intelligence was used, it was only done in the early versions of the films. The filmmakers were then instructed to remove any “non-AI or SAG AFTRA actors” for the final version. He added that the other claims were “absolutely false” and that he believed the copyright in the original Road House it’s not over yet.

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