Hollywood Studios Will Request Consent Before Making Digital Replicas of Actors

IBL News | New York

After its tentative agreement with Hollywood studios, the SAG-AFTRA union revealed how studios will handle AI replicas of living and dead actors and how this generative technology will impact the industry for decades.

According to the deal, companies must request consent before making digital replicas of actors, disclosing what those replicas will be used for. Actors will also receive compensation for the digital replicas.

The rules will also apply to deceased actors. Heirs or beneficiaries must consent first.

Regarding synthetic fakes, or fake performers who are based on the image and likeness of an actor, SAG-AFTRA will be notified, having the right to bargain for fair pay.

It’s expected that Hollywood film and TV production will resume in January 2024, following months of disruption with a 118-day strike.

“It allows the industry to go forward. It does not block AI, but it makes sure that performers are protected, the rights of consent are protected, the rights to pay compensation, and the rights of employment are protected,” said the Union, which hosts 160,000 members.

In October, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) also officially ended its strike after ratifying a three-year deal with AI terms approved.

It was agreed that AI cannot be considered a writer within TV and film projects, and AI-generated material is not considered literary material or assigned material.

On the other hand, writers were given the option to choose to use AI if they pleased, but could not be forced to use AI software by a company.

The deal also stipulated that if anything is written by AI, then the company must notify the writer in advance.