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New Delhi, Sep 21: In a recent legal development, actor Anil Kapoor has successfully secured protection from unauthorized use of his name, image, likeness, and personality through an order issued by the Delhi High Court on September 20. Kapoor had filed a petition in the court to protect his personality and publicity. The rights include elements related to his identity such as his name, voice, photographs, mannerisms, and gestures.
In their petition, Kapoor’s legal team cited his extensive work, which includes several films and web series along with several prestigious awards. He argued that his name and personality, in addition to their significant commercial value, deserve protection against abuse on the Internet. As evidence of this abuse, they presented examples of T-shirts being sold bearing their images, individuals taking over Internet domain addresses associated with their names, and even pornographic content using deep fake technology.
The Delhi High Court observed that fame can often come with drawbacks. It emphasizes that while legitimate forms of free speech and expression, such as articles, news, satire, parody, and genuine criticism about a famous person, are protected, defamation of character and damage to a person’s reputation are prohibited. It is illegal to exceed the delivery limit. ,
The court strongly held that unauthorized use of a celebrity’s name, image, and likeness cannot be allowed. It recognized that celebrities rely on endorsements for their livelihood, which could be seriously affected by such abuse. In this context, the court expressed its commitment to protect the interests of the actor.
The court also acknowledged the role of emerging technologies such as generative AI and machine learning in enabling online misuse of a celebrity’s identity.
To address the issue, the court issued an ex-parte injunction in favor of Anil Kapoor. It directed the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and internet service providers to remove links hosting pornographic content containing deep fake versions of the actor.
This legal move follows a similar order issued in November 2022, where the Delhi High Court had protected the personality rights of veteran actor Amitabh Bachchan. In that case, the court had barred any unauthorized use of Bachchan’s name, image, and likeness, underscoring the increasing importance of protecting the identity and reputation of celebrities in the digital age.