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

Neighbours fight a small late-night bush fire with garden hoses and shovels in Cinnabar Valley on June 5. They couldn’t get help from local fire services because the fire was located in an area under B.C. Wildfire Services jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy Muriel Wells)
Nanaimo residents on edge of city limits left to put out bush fire themselves

Cinnabar Valley residents tackle fire with hoses and buckets for two and a half hours

Nanaimo artist Dave Stevens is displaying paintings inspired by arbutus trees and the Millstone River at Nanaimo Harbourfront Library from now until the end of fall. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo writer and artist’s work goes up at Harbourfront library

Dave Stevens presents work inspired by arbutus trees and the Millstone River

The courthouse in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo man, already in jail, found guilty of sexual abuse of sons

Man previously sentenced for sexual interference involving girl in Nanaimo

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps near Nanaimo

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Stuffed toys, many with donations pinned to them, are piled in the Lions Pavilion at Maffeo Sutton Park at a vigil May 31 honouring the 215 Indigenous children whose remains were discovered outside a residential school in Kamloops. (News Bulletin file photo)
Thousands donated to child and family service agency following Nanaimo vigil

Toys and money donated to Kw’umut Lelum child and family services

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps near Nanaimo

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Condolences pour in for Kathy Richardson, Naramata’s 3rd homicide victim in recent weeks

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
More than 75% of B.C. adults have 1st dose of COVID vaccine

The federal government has confirmed a boost in the Moderna vaccine will be coming later this month

Airport ground crew offload a plane carrying just under 300,000 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine which is developed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
1st batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines won’t be released in Canada over quality concerns

The vaccines were quarantined in April before they were distributed to provinces

The rainbow flag flies beside the Canadian flag outside the University of the Fraser Valley’s Chilliwack campus on June 26, 2020. Monday, June 14, 2021 is Flag Day, and also June is Pride Month. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 13 to 19

Flag Day, Garbage Man Day, International Panic Day all coming up this week

Terry Mazzei next to a truck after it was struck by lightning, with him inside, on Wednesday afternoon, June 9. He walked away from the incident without injury and the truck sustained only mild damage; a blown front tire and newly broken gas gauge. (Wendy Mazzei photo)
Vancouver Island man walks away unscathed after lightning strike

VIDEO: ‘We like to think that his dad was watching over him’

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

Forty sled dogs were seized by the BC SPCA from a Salmo kennel in February. A recent ruling has decided the dogs won’t be returned. Photo: Gounsil/Flickr
BC Farm Industry Review Board rules against Salmo kennel after 40 sled dogs seized

Spirit of the North Kennels was also ordered to pay BC SPCA $64,000

Frank Phillips receives a visit from his wife Rena at Nanaimo Seniors Village on their 61st wedding anniversary, March 31, 2020. Social visits have been allowed since COVID-19 vaccination has been offered in all care homes. (Nanaimo News Bulletin)
B.C. prepares mandatory vaccination for senior care homes

180 more cases of COVID-19 in B.C. Friday, one more death

Most Read