Bruce Willis denies selling deepfake rights to Deepcake [Updated]

Enlarge / The actual Bruce Willis at a movie premiere in 2019.

On Friday, Ars Technica reported that Bruce Willis had bought his likeness to be used in deepfakes, in accordance to The Telegraph. Dozens of stories websites repeated the Telegraph’s declare. Over the weekend, the BBC found that Bruce Willis has “no partnership or agreement” with the agency Deepcake, which is predicated in Georgia, the Eurasian republic.

It’s unclear how the incorrect declare originated at The Telegraph. While reporting final Friday, we tried to confirm among the claims within the authentic Telegraph article (corresponding to Willis being the primary actor to promote his deepfake rights), however we couldn’t achieve this, and we famous that within the report. We additionally famous that Deepcake is doing enterprise in America beneath an organization registered in Delaware. However, we failed to comply with by means of with verifying the complete declare, and we apologize for the error and for repeating the inaccurate info.

Deepcake's website features Bruce Willis prominently in marketing materials. However, Willis' agent says, Enlarge / Deepcake’s web site options Bruce Willis prominently in advertising and marketing supplies. However, Willis’ agent says, “Please know that Bruce has no partnership or agreement with this Deepcake company.”

Deepcake

It’s unclear if Deepcake ever had the rights to use Bruce Willis’ likeness on its web site or in its advertising and marketing supplies. Deepcake advised the BBC, “What he definitely did is that he gave us his consent (and a lot of materials) to make his Digital Twin.” Deepcake additionally claims, per The Hollywood Reporter, that the corporate’s involvement with Willis arrived by means of the Creative Artists Agency to be used in a 2021 Russian mobile phone industrial. However, Willis’ representatives nonetheless deny having any involvement with the corporate.

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(Update, October 4: In a press release emailed to Ars Technica, Deepcake’s PR group wrote, “Deepcake never claimed the actor sold us the image rights and didn’t provide anyone any comments of [the] sorts. The information in the Telegraph, Independent and so on is not correct: currently no regulatory framework allows people to sell rights for their identity.”

Deepcake PR continued with a proof of the 2021 challenge with MegaFon that concerned Bruce Willis, which Variety reported on Monday:

“In August 2021, we worked with a telecom brand MegaFon that launched an ad campaign with Bruce Willis and requested us to create a Digital Twin of the star. Our engineers processed a massive dataset of Bruce Willis and made his Digital Twin for the series of MegaFon ads. The bilateral contractual agreements between Bruce Willis and MegaFon are unknown to us, since Deepcake was a third party in that deal—a tech provider who created a digital twin. … We had no working project or agreement with him since then and we never said otherwise.”)

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