SAG-AFTRA debuts new takedown covering personalized, AI-assisted audio ads

As Hollywood continues to adjust to AI’s steady march into the business, SAG-AFTRA has debuted a waiver for performers who are working on personalized audio commercials that incorporate the technology.

The actors’ union’s “de-advertising for dynamic AI ads,” announced to members Tuesday, seeks to manage how voice performances by union members are used and compensated in AI-assisted ads that vary by listener or specific context. (An example of offered coupling is if an ad, say on a podcast, changes its greeting from “good morning” to “good morning” to “good night” depending on the time of day.)

The new agreement lays out a set of rules governing consent and compensation in these cases. Performers must be aware in advance that their sound work will be used to generate a digital copy of the sound and give written consent to this use, according to the terms of the agreement. They should illuminate the use of this copy in an ad, knowing which products are set to be advertised. When any new commercial is produced using voice copy, the performer must be paid according to the standards described in the waiver.

In addition, “Producers must also undertake to take commercially reasonable steps to ensure the security of the digital audio duplicate and the material used to create it, and to delete the copy of the digital audio and all materials used to create it when the employment relationship ends.” the union added to a document Frequently Asked Questions about the waiver.

The waiver was approved by the union’s Standing Committee on Trade Contracts and the National Executive Committee before it took effect. The Joint Policy Committee — the group that represents advertisers and agencies in labor negotiations with unions — also provided input on the terms of the waiver, according to SAG-AFTRA. (Joint Policy Committee chief negotiator Stacy Marcus confirmed this was the case.)

The waiver is only available to signatories to the union’s audio advertising contract, and so the union reminds members that if a company does not comply with the terms of the waiver, “Claims may be filed and the employer may be pursued for appropriate compensation. fines and fees.”

In his announcement of the waiver, SAG-AFTRA national executive director Duncan Crabtree-Ireland told members that the agreement “reinforces the union’s intent to ensure that whenever AI is used in ways that affect SAG-AFTRA members, protection appropriate, informed consent and appropriate compensation is always required.”

Abandoning dynamic AI audio ads is the latest example of SAG-AFTRA paving the way for union members to participate in jobs where AI is used. On January 9, the union and sound technology company Replica Studios announced a sound agreement covering the use of digital replicas in video games and other interactive media.

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