Noted voice actor and coach J. Michael Collins is suing the pay-to-play casting site Voices Dot Com.
You can read the Voice Over Xtra article announcing the suit here.
To summarize the article, he is suing Voices Dot Com “for alleged unauthorized use of Collins’ likeness, voice, name and an implied endorsement of that firm in its marketing.”
Basically, he told VDC to stop using a video he made for them for free and apparently they continued to use it.
What does suing Voices Dot Com mean for the company and the voiceover industry?
I have no proof of what I’m about to write and I’m pretty sure there is more to it than this. This is just a guess…
‘Cease and Desist’ requests (which is what I think this suit is about on the surface) are made all the time. Sometimes they’re complied with, sometimes they’re not. Sometimes it turns into a lawsuit, sometimes it doesn’t. Yes, Mr. Collins has made it very clear over the past few years that he no longer wants to be associated with VDC. VDC as well as many members of the voiceover community who have been paying attention know that. It has been well-documented. And yes, he has the right to ask them to stop using the video and sue them if they don’t comply. But I don’t think that’s what this is about.
I think they want to get the owners of Voices Dot Com on the stand.
I think they want the owners of VDC to answer questions under oath about their business practices.
I think they want Morgan Stanley to see what kind of company they have invested millions of dollars in.
I think they they want VDC to answer for how they have allegedly taken money out of the pockets of voice talent, voice seekers, casting directors, the agents, and the union.
I think they want to see Voices Dot Com squirm.
Why did I name this blog “Voiceovers And Suing Voices Dot Com, Part One“? I have a feeling that this story is just beginning…
TIP OF THE WEEK
If you’re a voice talent and you think you got hosed in some way: whether it’s about usage, exclusivity, cut-downs, etc., DO something about it. DON’T wuss out. Have a SPINE. Take ownership of your business. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; you are not a starving artist commodity, you are a business. Understand how the industry works, why it works it the way it does, and your place it it. Assert your rights as a business and uphold the industry standards.
NEWS AND NOTES
Thursday, July 19th @8PM EST: my next Edge Studio “Marketing 201” webinar topic will be ‘The Sales Funnel’. We’re going to talk about what that is and how to push voice seekers through it. Click here to sign up.
Saturday, July 21st @9AM EST: I will be appearing in Part 6 of the Voiceover Intensity eLearning online course hosted by Christi Bowen. You can watch me in a video demonstrating how to speed up your eLearning workflow. If you can’t make it that day, the videos will be archived so you can watch them at your convenience. Click here to learn more.
Sunday, July 22nd @12:00PM EST: At Arts On Site, veteran voice talent an SAG-AFTRA expert Melissa Exelberth and I will host an Abacus Entertainment Union/Non-Union Q&A. This won’t be a “which is better” conversation! We will talk about the pros and cons of being union, non-union, and fi-core to help you determine which is right for you at this point in your voiceover career.
When you sign up and it asks if you’re a member, click YES even if you’re not. You will get membership pricing for this event, $25 instead of $50! The newly updated Studio Membership program has a ton of great benefits: check it out at https://www.abacus.nyc/studio-member-signup. FYI this is an in-person only event and seating is limited. Click here to sign up!
Tuesday, July 24th @6PM EST: my friend and fellow Abacus Entertainment coach Dara Rosenberg will lead the Audiobook Romance Narration & Demo Spot Creation Workshop! Click here to learn more.
November 9-11: In anticipation of MAVO 2018, I did this quick little video to let you know what I’ll be teaching there. There are still tickets left! Click here to register.