Am I allowed to create audio files with apple TextToSpeech on my Mac and then use these recordings in my app or web page?


I assume this is a legal question and not a technical question. If you create sound files using some program, you hold copyright in that content to the extent that it is not an unpermitted derivative work (e.g. you can't feed a novel into a synthesis program and create an audio book). It doesn't matter which operating system or program you are using. There is the possibility that a certain software license prohibits commercial use, so that you could not use the software to create sound files that you sell, so you would also have to check your software license.

  • "You can't feed a novel into a synthesis program and create an audio book": you can if the novel is not protected by copyright.
    – phoog
    Feb 20 at 17:57
  • 1
    Also read the part that says "an unpermitted derivative work".
    – user6726
    Feb 20 at 18:10
  • Sure, but "a novel" is offered as an example of a work for which permission is required to create a derivative work, implying that the novel is subject to copyright protection. My comment is intended to point out that a novel isn't per se entitled to protection, so a derivative work made without permission isn't necessarily in violation. In other words, for the example to reflect the requirement more precisely, it should note that the novel is protected by copyright.
    – phoog
    Feb 20 at 20:13

You need to look at licenses. Last time I looked (and I did look because I was interested in the subject), the voices that are included with MacOS and iOS came with a license that allows the owner of the device personal use. If you design things so that the user who listens to the text creates the sound using the voices on their device, you are fine. Creating the audio on your computer and distributing it wouldn't be allowed.

There are companies producing voices with licenses that allow you producing, recording and distributing audio using their voices.

  • The issue with letting the user creating it on the device is that they have to add the language and install a voice which is a bit inconvenient.
    – midi1007
    Feb 23 at 9:21

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