Originally Posted by Gatorguy
I think I remember comments from other Nuance voice contributors that it was a contract job and there' no on-going payments or royalties. The only one making money from those voices after-the-fact is Nuance from licensing fees.
Yes, but it's doubtful the rights assigned included broadcast advertising rights because at the time it was signed, Nuance probably never anticipated that it would be used that way. The contract would also have to have included a phrase like, "in any and all media, both that known today and media that will be developed in the future..."
If it did, the actors are screwed. If it didn't, an actor could indeed go after Nuance for exploiting rights they didn't have. It doesn't matter if the contract was a work-for-hire or not. What matters is what rights Nuance was specifically granted. (I work in this area so I'm very familiar with what needs to be in the contract and who gets sued over what. A publisher who had the rights to publish works around a licensed character published an ancillary book featuring that character. The original rights holders went after them and they settled out of court for $12 million.)