Court Grants Permanent Injunction Against AI-Generated George Carlin Podcast

The makers of Dudesy, the AI-assisted podcast that allegedly used a version of the late comedian George Carlin for its special titled “George Carlin: I’m Glad I’m Dead,” have agreed to take down the fake George Carlin comedy special on all websites and refrain from using Carlin’s image, voice and likeness without permission. The entry of a consent judgment and permanent injunction settles the lawsuit filed in January 2024 by Carlin’s estate. In a statement on April 4, 2024, Carlin’s daughter Kelly Carlin stated that she “hope[s] this case serves as a warning about the dangers posed by AI technologies and the need for appropriate safeguards not just for artists and creatives, but every human on earth.”

Moving forward, disputes where the rights of artists and public figures are infringed by AI may be resolved by similar settlement agreements. However, California’s expansive common law and statutory publicity rights may be more favorable to plaintiffs than in other states with less well-defined laws.