The Delhi High Court has passed an interim order protecting the personality rights of actor Anil Kapoor. The court has restrained various entities from misusing his image, name, voice, or other elements of his persona for commercial purposes without his consent. This includes the use of his persona to create merchandise, ringtones, or any other commercial products.
Personality rights refer to the name, voice, signature, images or any other feature easily identified by the public as markers of a celebrity’s personality. These could include a pose, a mannerism or any aspect of their personality. The idea is that only the owner or creator of these distinct features has the right to derive any commercial benefit from it.
In Anil Kapoor’s case, the Delhi High Court granted an ex-parte, omnibus injunction restraining 16 entities from using Kapoor’s name, likeness, image, using technological tools like Artificial Intelligence, face morphing and even GIFs for monetary gain or commercial purpose1. This also includes the misuse of his famous “jhakaas” catchphrase.
Justice Prathiba M Singh observed that while free speech is protected, it becomes illegal when it “crosses the line” and results in tarnishing and jeopardising individual personality rights. The court also directed the authorities concerned to block the offending platforms.