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May 14, 2024

Jackie Shroff Seeks Delhi High Court’s Protection for Personality Rights

Bollywood actor Jackie Shroff has approached the Delhi High Court, seeking to safeguard his personality rights and restrict the unauthorized use of his name, images, voice, and popular nickname ‘Bhidu.’ This move marks a significant step in protecting celebrities from exploitation and misuse of their persona without consent.

According to a report by Bar and Bench, Shroff has filed a lawsuit against various entities that have employed his name, photographs, voice, and nickname without his approval. The case is scheduled for hearing on May 14, and the court is anticipated to consider issuing an interim order following the session.

Jackie’s legal representatives presented the court with numerous instances where his images were used in offensive memes, and his voice was misappropriated for similar purposes. Additionally, they raised concerns about the creation of pornographic material exploiting Shroff’s persona, highlighting the severe extent of misuse.

This legal recourse by Shroff echoes a similar action taken by Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor last year. Kapoor sought protection for his personality rights and secured a favorable verdict in January, ensuring the protection of his name, voice, image, likeness, manner of speaking, gestures, and even his iconic ‘jhakaas’ catchphrase.

In a recent interview with Variety, Kapoor praised the decision as progressive and beneficial not only for himself but also for other actors, especially in the context of rapidly advancing AI technology. “I think [the decision] is very progressive and great not only for me but for other actors also … Because of the way AI technology is evolving every day. It’s not only for me. Today I’m there to protect myself, but when I’m not there, the family should have the right to protect my [personality] and gain from it in future,” Kapoor stated.

He further added, “It’s only a matter of time before you’ll be able to recreate any dead person at any age with the voice and the mannerisms, so I want to have some control.”

The misuse of celebrity personas is not a new phenomenon, but the rise of digital media and AI technology has exacerbated the issue. Unauthorized use of a celebrity’s image or voice can significantly impact their reputation and career, making legal protection more critical than ever. The precedent set by Kapoor’s victory is likely to influence the outcome of Shroff’s case, potentially leading to more robust protection for celebrities in India.

While Jackie Shroff has yet to issue any public statement regarding his legal action, the significance of his move is apparent. It underscores the urgent need for legal frameworks that protect individuals’ personality rights in the digital age. As AI technology continues to evolve, the ability to replicate a person’s voice, image, and mannerisms becomes increasingly sophisticated, posing new challenges for privacy and identity protection.

The outcome of Shroff’s case will be closely watched by the entertainment industry and legal experts alike, as it may set another important precedent for personality rights in India. It is a crucial step towards ensuring that celebrities can maintain control over their own identities and protect themselves from exploitation.

In conclusion, Jackie Shroff’s legal battle for the protection of his personality rights is a pivotal moment in the ongoing struggle against the unauthorized use of celebrity personas. As the Delhi High Court deliberates on this matter, the implications of its decision will resonate throughout the entertainment industry, potentially leading to stronger safeguards for all individuals in the public eye.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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