Bev Standing says the social media app TikTok is using her voice to narrate user videos without her permission. (Submitted)

Bev Standing says the social media app TikTok is using her voice to narrate user videos without her permission. (Submitted)

Canadian voice actor sues TikTok for alleged illegal use of her voice

‘By having my text-to-speech voice on TikTok, which I was not hired to do, it can be detrimental to my actual career,’ says Bev Standing

The popular social media platform TikTok has illegally used and profited from the voice of a professional Canadian voice-over artist, a civil lawsuit filed in the United States alleges.

In her untested statement of claim, Beverly (Bev) Standing is seeking unspecified damages and a permanent injunction against the short-form video site for what she alleges is the unauthorized use of her voice and lack of compensation.

Standing, of Welland, Ont., alleges she found out in November that TikTok was using her vocals for its female computer-generated voice. Among other things, she says some of the TikTok videos contained foul and offensive language.

“I get paid to speak. I get paid to represent brands,” Standing said in an interview on Thursday. “By having my text-to-speech voice on TikTok — which I was not hired to do — it can be detrimental to my actual career.”

Standing, who said she has hundreds of commercial clients in radio, television and the corporate world, said she wants to be acknowledged for her work. But she said she also has a larger purpose with the suit.

“It’s really important for voice talent, clients and creatives to understand that you can’t … just use someone’s voice without permission,” she said. “You can’t do it in the music world, you can’t do it in the art world, and you shouldn’t be able to do it in the voice world.”

Delaware-based ByteDance, the corporate entity that controls TikTok and which is named as a defendant, did not respond to a request for comment. It has yet to file a statement of defence.

The suit filed this month in U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, says Standing’s voice and likeness are well known in the U.S. and elsewhere. She claims she has suffered “significant injury and irreparable harm” as a result of the alleged unauthorized use.

“Plaintiff has invested substantial effort in preserving, protecting, and honing her reputation, and has amassed substantial goodwill,” her claim states. “By misappropriating plaintiff’s voice and likeness, defendants have not only traded on plaintiff’s earned goodwill, but are also depriving the defendant of the ability to control her reputation.”

TikTok, she alleges, has created the “false and misleading representation” that she endorses various products and services when, in fact, she has not done so.

“Defendants’ conduct, as described above, was deliberate and wilful, has created and will create a likelihood of confusion, mistake, and deception,” she argues. “Defendants have engaged in such acts intentionally or with reckless disregard for whether the public is confused and deceived.”

The claim requests a hearing by a jury which would, if it agreed with her, decide on an appropriate damages award.

Standing said she has had strong support from the voice-over community in taking on TikTok.

“I haven’t got any work done,” she said. It’s been absolutely overwhelming.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

TikTok

Just Posted

Adrian Moyls is the Selkirk College Class of 2021 valedictorian and graduate of the School of Health and Human Services. Photo: Submitted
Selkirk College valedictorian proves mettle in accomplishment

Adrian Moyls is a graduate of the School of Health and Human Services

A report shows nine West Kootenay communities are have more low-income persons than the provincial average. File photo
Study casts new light on poverty in the West Kootenay

Nine communities in region have more low-income residents than provincial average

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

The pilot of this single-engine propeller plane was unhurt after crash-landing in a Como Road orchard Friday, June 18. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Plane crash lands into Grand Forks orchard, pilot injured

RCMP have secured the crash site, pending investigation by Transport Canada

Author John Vaillant joins Lisa Moore and Fred Wah for Elephant Mountain Literary Festival’s Alumni Reading on Friday, July 9. All three authors were featured at the inaugural festival in 2012. Photo: Submitted
FESTIVAL TALES: When 2012 meets 2021

The Elephant Mountain Literary Festival will include authors from the event’s inaugural year

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Bella Bella is on B.C.’s Central Coast, accessible only by air and ocean. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
B.C. provides $22 million for Heiltsuk development on Central Coast

Elders care home project, tourism, lumber mill supported

Most Read