Are we really that surprised?
The world of NFTs in video games is pretty murky, and for many feels like a hyper-inflation of microtransactions. In the broader sense of NFTs, there have unfortunately been cases of artists having their work taken and profited off of by talentless hacks wanting to make some hefty money. DeviantArt even has a program dedicated to notifying people when their art has been ripped from the website and put on OpenSea, which is fucking grim.
Previously, it was reported that voice actor Troy Baker, known for many roles in video games, had partnered up with Voiceverse NFT. The NFT company, according to Baker’s initial announcement, will allow users to purchase AI voices from notable voice actors as NFTS that can be used freely by the user.
“I’m partnering with Voiceverse NFT to explore ways where together we might bring new tools to new creators to make new things, and allow everyone a chance to own & invest in the IP’s they create. “We all have a story to tell. You can hate. Or you can create. What’ll it be?
Imagine being able to create customized audiobooks, Youtube videos, e-learning lectures, or even podcasts with your favourite voice all without the hassle of additional legal work. This also allows people with limited resources to access professional-grade voices more easily.”
People were understandably pretty pissed off for a myriad of reasons, such as being disappointed that one of their favourite voice actors was becoming an NFT shill. Another criticism was that this practice could potentially put voice actors out of work considering you could just use their AI voice rather than getting them to voice act for a project and paying them.
In their most recent scandal, the creator of 15.ai, a free-to-use AI that can accurately clone voices, went to Twitter to express their anger upon realising that Voiceverse NFT had taken voice lines from the popular text-to-speech service without giving credit. While this could be seen as a moral issue, considering Voiceverse NFT would potentially be profiting off the use of 15.ai’s project, it’s an incredible display of degeneracy.
I’ve been informed that the aforementioned NFT vocal synthesis is actively attempting to appropriate my work for their own benefit.
After digging through the log files, I have evidence that some of the voices that they are taking credit for were indeed generated from my own site.
— 15 (@fifteenai) January 14, 2022
The creator, who goes by 15, proceeded to show code in the log files that proved the voice was being ripped from their project.
Since the tweet has since been deleted, the video itself contained something along the lines of “voice generated by [NFT vocal synthesis twitter]” without giving me an ounce of credit.
I don’t even know what to say.
— 15 (@fifteenai) January 14, 2022
While the referenced tweet had been deleted after being called out by 15, Twitter users wasted no time making sure that the video in the tweet was kept around.
Here is the video they deleted.
— Malik ♡ (@KiddBlast_) January 15, 2022
As shown at the end of the video, it claims that ‘The Voice Powered By Voiceverse”. While some could’ve assumed that Chubbiverse, the account that posted the video, was in the wrong, an apology and confession from Voiceverse NFT that the voice had indeed come from 15.ai were posted after misplaced gloating.
In their pinned tweet posted on December 13th 2021, 15 states, “I have no interest in incorporating NFTs into any aspect of my work. Please stop asking.” When using the 15.ai project, a warning comes up that states the project is not for commercial use, with terms for use that ask the user to accept before proceeding. Taking this into consideration, it’s pretty much a case of absolute and unadulterated degenerate behaviour.