Delhi High Court protects personality rights of Jackie Shroff

Anand and Anand

The Delhi High Court on May 15 passed an interim order, protecting the personality and publicity rights of Bollywood actor Jackie Shroff as it restrained a number of defendants from distorting the actor’s videos, using an unlicensed AI chatbot which were using attributes of his persona and misappropriating his name and other sobriquets including ‘JACKIE’, ‘JAGGU DADA’ etc.

Hon’ble Justice Sanjeev Narula also directed the Department of Telecommunications (DOT) and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) to issue necessary directions to the telecom service providers and internet service providers to block the infringing URLs/ links provided to the court.

Team Anand and Naik had moved court on behalf of Shroff against certain defendants who have been infringing his personality and publicity rights by either video distortions, or via unlicensed AI chatbots where a user could chat with a bot who would then respond in the voice of the actor or by selling merchandise with his images.

Arguing for Shroff, Pravin Anand had told the court that a copyright claim (as raised by certain defendants) does not pre-empt a cause of action for personality rights, while citing the recent Anil Kapoor and the Amitabh Bachchan case which were also successfully argued by Anand and Naik.

Of the parties sued, two e-commerce websites engaged in selling merchandise and posters featuring the actor’s image and photographs undertook to abstain from similar engagement.

Team Anand and Naik in this matter comprised Pravin Anand, Ameet Naik, Dhruv Anand, Madhu Gadodia, Udita Michelle Patro, Rinku Gajria, Sampurnaa Sanyal, Sujoy Mukherji, Ashutosh Upadhyaya, Nimrat Singh, Tarini Kulkarni and Dhananjay Khanna.