The NFT technology advertised by Troy Baker isn’t that unique after all, and the voice actor might be regretting his decisions.
During the weekend, we wrote about how the voice actor, known for voicing Nathan Drake in Uncharted, for instance, got a lot of flak for advertising NFT technology even if it isn’t based on pictures but voice, as it still hurts the environment, regardless of how the blockchain functions. He apologized, but it didn’t stop the Internet from looking into the technology a bit more.
15ai might be familiar to you. The site, used as research by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, allows users to use particular characters’ voices as TTS (text-to-speech) samples. On Twitter, they have expressed their disappointment: “I’ve been informed that the aforementioned NFT vocal synthesis is actively attempting to appropriate my work for their benefit. After digging through the log files, I have evidence that some of the voices they are taking credit for were generated from my site. Since the tweet has been deleted, the video itself contained something along the lines of “voice generated by [NFT vocal synthesis twitter]” without giving me an ounce of credit. I don’t even know what to say.”
15ai already expressed in December that the technology will not be used for NFTs of any kind, and asked everyone to stop bothering them about it. Voiceverse tried to save its ham, but this statement says it all: “First and foremost we would like to thank you for all the feedback we’ve received. We want to let you know that we are actively listening and will change for the better. We first developed this idea to provide everyone with a voice in web3 and fun, new ways to personalize your Avatar by adding a voice component to it. This idea evolved to include content creators by giving access to the voices, generally reserved for top studios, and the ability to create simple voiceover audio to fulfil their needs while making sure that voice actors are adequately compensated.
We have done a poor job explaining our relationship with all the voice actors we work with, and we apologize for this. To clarify, we fully license and gain explicit written permission from the Voice Actor on the usage rights of the Voice NFT. Voice actors get an upfront guarantee to ensure their labour is adequately compensated, much higher than any Union rate. The Voice Actor receives royalties on all secondary sales of the Voice NFT, of which we take 0%.
The Voice Actor can choose whether to associate their identity with the voice that they provide. Many Voice Actors decide to deliver a completely new fictional character voice to Voiceverse to protect their personality rights. In essence, the Voice Actor has complete control over the entire process. We mentioned “no additional legal hassle” because every legal detail is already dealt with between Voiceverse and the Voice Actor, so the end consumer doesn’t have to deal with it. This was poor wording on our part, and again we apologize for this.
We also received many responses saying that Voice NFTs could potentially take jobs away from Voice Actors. We will change this as we want to disrupt the industry by opening up a new stream of opportunities for Voice Actors, not replacing them. We want to include all Voice Actors in the discussion, whether you’re a seasoned industry veteran or just starting. We want to create more ways Voice Actors can capitalize on their abilities and generate income.
As a first step, we will only focus on web3 functionalities like voice ‘skins’ in Metaverse worlds. or personalizing other PFP NFTs, features based around customization and entertainment allowing people to build their web3 personas. We apologize if we made anyone feel threatened, and we hope that we can work together towards a better and brighter future for Voice Actors everywhere,” the statement reads.
It might be a bit too late now…