George Carlin Estate Sues Podcasters Over AI “Comedy Special"

After a widespread outcry, the estate of the late comedian George Carlin is suing the people behind a so-called AI-generated “comedy special” for using the artist’s likeness without consent. Earlier this month, an outfit called Dudesy AI posted an hour-long standup routine titled “George Carlin: I’m Glad I’m Dead.” Run by “Mad TV” alum Will Sasso and podcaster Chad Kultgen, the duo claim they trained AI models on the comic’s huge body of recorded work — though Ars Technica has cast doubt on that assertion — and in doing so, drew the wrath of Carlin’s estate, which didn’t approve any such use. Controlled by his daughter Kelly Carlin and his longtime manager Jerry Hamza, the estate is alleging in a California lawsuit that Dudesy was not authorized to use “Carlin’s original, copyrighted routines” to train its AI. Along with not having consent to use those routines, Hamza and his attorneys have also charged Sasso and Kultgen with misrepresenting Carlin’s work and attempting to profit off of his “name, reputation, and likeness.” Indeed, in the description of the YouTube video in question, there are links to all kinds of Dudesy-related monetization, from the duo’s merch store to their Patreon. Anticipating First Amendment arguments claiming Dudesy’s unfunny approximation falls under “fair use” law, the suit says that the video “has no comedic or creative value absent its self-proclaimed connection with George Carlin” and does not “satirize him as a performer or offer an independent critique of society.” Back when Dudesy first dropped…George Carlin Estate Sues Podcasters Over AI “Comedy Special"

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