On September 20, the Delhi High Court issued a ruling shielding Anil Kapoor from unauthorized use of his name, likes, and character. Anil Kapoor’s name, voice, image, or dialogue cannot be used illegally for commercial purposes by unlicensed platforms, the court said. The case was heard by Justice Prathiba M. Singh’s panel.
According to a report by CNBC, In his plea, he cited hundreds of films and web series in which he appeared along with several prestigious awards. Advocate Pravin Anand contended that in addition to having enormous financial value, his name and identity should be protected from being used improperly online. He used the sale of t-shirts featuring his photographs, people squatting on IP addresses bearing his name, and even the use of deep fakes to create pornographic content as examples of misuse.
The case aimed to defend Kapoor’s personality rights, including those relating to his name, voice, appearance, likeness, speaking style, and gesticulations, among other things.
No unauthorized use of celebrities’ images said the court
The court said, “While there can be no doubt that free speech about a well-known person is protected in the form of write-ups, news, satire, parody, which is genuine. As also criticism, which could be genuine. When the same crosses the line and results in tarnishing, a blackening or jeopardising the individual’s personality, the same would be illegal,” according to the CNBC report.
The court ruled that it is forbidden to utilize a celebrity’s name, likeness, or other likeness without permission. The judge ruled that celebrities have a right to an endorsement-based source of income, which can be taken away. The court noted that new technologies like machine learning and generative artificial intelligence are making it possible to exploit a celebrity’s persona online as well as the use of his image in GIFs for monetary gains or commercial purposes where such activities are likely to violate the veteran actor’s rights.
Previously the court had issued a similar ruling in November 2022, defending the celebrity rights of veteran actor Amitabh Bachchan.
Work front for Anil Kapoor
The actor is presently preparing for his new film, Fighter, which also stars Deepika Padukone and Hrithik Roshan. The movie, directed by Sidharth Anand, will be released in theatres on Republic Day, 2024. He was most recently seen in The Night Manager, which also starred Aditya Roy Kapoor and Sobhita Dhulipala.
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