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George Carlin Estate Files Lawsuit Against Group Behind AI-Generated Stand-Up Special: ‘A Casual Theft of a Great American Artist’s Work’

Dudesy, the media company behind the AI-generated comedy special titled “George Carlin: I’m Glad I’m Dead,” is facing a lawsuit from the estate of the late comedian George Carlin. The lawsuit, filed in a California federal court, seeks both an immediate removal of the special and unspecified damages. It alleges that Dudesy infringed on copyright by using Carlin’s materials to train a chatbot without obtaining permission or licensing.

The hour-long special features an AI approximation of George Carlin’s voice and comedy style. At the beginning of the special, the voice claims to have imitated Carlin based on listening to all of his material. The lawsuit argues that this process resulted in unauthorized copies of Carlin’s copyrighted work. Furthermore, it claims that the special harms Carlin’s reputation, criticizing the use of a recreated voice to promote the video as “a casual theft of a great American artist’s work.”

The lawsuit names Dudesy podcast hosts Will Sasso and Chad Kultgen as defendants, along with 20 John Does, five associated with the AI program, and 15 linked to the creation and production of the special. This legal action is one of the first major cases against the creators of an AI-generated recreation. George Carlin’s daughter, Kelly Carlin, expressed her opposition to the AI recreation, stating that the “‘George Carlin’ in that video is not the beautiful human who defined his generation and raised me with love.”

Attorney Josh Schiller highlighted the need for control and restraint in AI use, emphasizing the risk of it becoming a tool that allows bad-faith actors to exploit the work of creators and profit at the expense of others.

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