Jack King - The Voice Of NASA - Credits: NASA

Licensing The Voice of NASA: Jack King

Once upon a time there was a man who counted backwards like no one had ever counted before.  He could T minus this and T minus that like nobody’s business.

That man was Jack King aka the Voice of NASA.

When NASA released their audio files into the public domain, many sound effects companies rushed to get their hands on the iconic sounds of Gemini and Atlas rocket liftoffs and the walla from within launch headquarters.

Space Shuttle - Lift Off
Space Shuttle – Lift Off

What those companies did not realize was that some of the NASA sound effects that were now so easily available included … the Voice of NASA.  As an individual and not a public figure, Jack King was entitled to control and license the use of his own voice and – much like in the arena of music copyright – that right to license his voice passed to his Family and Estate when Jack King died.

The Estate of Jack King is asserting its right to license his voice; and as a responsible publisher of sound effects, Sound Ideas has helped to identify sound samples in the various collections sold on its site that include the Voice of NASA.

Use of these effects in a production or presentation absolutely requires special licensing directly from the Estate of Jack King, and probably requires additional licensing fees.

We have created a special presence on the Sound Ideas Web site that lists these Restricted Sound Effects, and provides direct contact details to the licensing party.  The use of these sounds is not covered by the standard Sound Ideas End User License Agreement.

Every product page that contains Restricted Sound Effects has been prominently identified with a link to the Restricted Sound Effects and licensing information.

This is something for all of us in the industry to keep in mind when individually identified voices are used in productions… whether the recordings are from our own fieldwork or taken from library collections.  A talent release is required!


Written By: Martha Lonsdale

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