Late CoCo Lee returns in heartfelt AI-generated video

    1981
    AI-generated CoCo Lee.

    16th March 2024 – (Shanghai) CoCo Lee, the renowned diva who tragically passed away in July last year, has recently made a mysterious “resurrection” of sorts. A mainland Chinese blogger utilised AI technology to simulate a video featuring the beloved singer. In the video, she greets her fans saying, “Hey, how are you? I am CoCo Lee. I know you may feel surprised or find it somewhat unreal, but please believe me, this is a moment filled with love and gratitude. Through this video, I have the opportunity to be reunited with all of you. Since the moment I left this world, I have always been able to sense your endless love and support. Your passion and trust are the most precious assets to my music. I want to express my deep appreciation to each and every one of you.”

    Simultaneously, the late actor Godfrey Gao was also featured in a similar video created using the same technology. The blogger even claimed to produce videos featuring other deceased individuals for a fee of 588 Chinese yuan, stating that as long as they are not used for commercial purposes, there would be no legal liability.

    The release of these video clips has sparked widespread discussion and debate. A mainland lawyer pointed out that according to the provisions of the Civil Code, the blogger’s unauthorised creation of virtual videos using CoCo Lee’s likeness and voice has infringed upon the rights of the deceased, including their right to image, voice, name, and reputation. The spouse, children, and parents of the deceased have the right to seek legal remedies against the responsible party. Another lawyer emphasised that using someone’s likeness without permission, regardless of whether it is for commercial profit, can potentially constitute an infringement of the right to image. Although CoCo Lee’s video was offered free of charge, its use in attracting business for video production purposes can still be seen as having a promotional intent and therefore be considered a commercial endeavour.