Commercial Use of AI Voices - What You Need to Know

You can create voice over for different purposes: flash presentation, tutorials, training video, documentaries, industrials, corporate presentations, trade show videos, elearning, explainer videos, audiobooks. However, no matter what your task is, you must know whether you are authorized to use text to speech voice over for your own commercial purposes. Voice-over software is owned by someone, and if you are not careful, you can easily run into legal troubles.

If you are using an actor's voice, make sure you have signed documents to use it. If you use synthesized voices - check if you have the rights to use them for your own commercial purposes.

This is such a serious question that almost every second message we receive from our users goes something like this: “What is the commercial usage policy for downloading your tts file mp3 and adding it to a Youtube video? Are we legally able to do this?”

Since this article is dedicated to computer voices, we will advise what you should consider when converting text to voice online.

Computer text to speech voices and copyright law

If you are converting text to voice and plan to use audio for commercial purposes or put it out in the public domain, then you must answer two questions:

  • Do I own content rights?
  • Can I use audio for commercial purposes or public use?

Content Rights or Originality of Content

You are fully protected as long as you use original text. That means that you hold the copyright to the text, and only you can authorize a derivative work (such as a synthesized recording). Therefore, you hold the copyright to the recordings as well.

The crucial consideration governing that right is that you “created” the work, meaning that there is a modicum of creativity.

If you are using text that you do not have the copyright to, then you are in a grey area. The copyright laws surrounding AI-generated content are a bit unclear at the moment. In fact, the USPTO (U.S. Patent and Trademark Office) recently revoked the copyright for an AI-generated comic on the grounds that copyrightable works must be created by humans. This means that AI creators should be cautious, as they may not have the same protections for their dig