The Delhi High Court has issued an interim order protecting the personality rights of Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor and restraining various entities from misusing his image, name, voice, or other elements of his persona for financial gain without his consent.
Kapoor sought protection of his personality rights, aiming to prevent various entities, including unidentified individuals, from violating his personality rights by using his name, acronym ‘AK,’ nicknames like ‘Lakhan,’ ‘Mr. India,’ ‘Majnu Bhai,’ and the phrase ‘Jhakaas,’ as well as his voice and images, for commercial gain without his permission.
Justice Prathiba M. Singh prohibited other unknown persons also from disseminating specific videos and links, directing the Internet service providers to take them down immediately.
Kapoor also seeks protection against the misuse of his personality rights through technology, including artificial intelligence, deepfakes, GIFs, and more.
The court ordered the blocking and suspension of three domain names using Kapoor’s name, transferring them to his name upon payment of requisite charges.
The court stated that Kapoor had established a prima facie case for an interim injunction, preventing defendants from using his name, image, voice, likeness, or personality for various purposes, including the creation of videos for commercial use that could violate his rights.
Justice Singh observed that fame can come with disadvantages, and this case illustrates that reputation and fame can lead to damage to a person.
The court acknowledged the importance of free speech, satire, criticism, and writings but said that when such speech crosses the line and tarnishes or jeopardizes an individual’s personality and associated elements, it becomes illegal.
The court noted that celebrities rely on endorsements and that their rights in this regard should not be destroyed by the sale of unauthorised merchandise, among other things.
Safir Anand, IPR Lawyer said: “The importance of protecting celebrity rights or the rights associated with a celebrity owing to their well-known status has been growing in India. The legal position of celebrity rights is based on precedents and a combination of remedies available as per existing statutes.”
“This order in favour of Kapoor is a welcome move in recognising and controlling unlawful exploitation of the uniqueness and persona developed and loved by fans of the celebrities the world over,” he added. Last year, a relief of this nature was also passed in favour of actor Amitabh Bachchan. (IANS)