The Delhi High Court on Wednesday passed an interim John Doe order restraining social media channels, e-commerce websites, and people at large from infringing on the personality and publicity rights of well-known Bollywood star Anil Kapoor for commercial gain. The international media has termed his win as a landmark victory against artificial intelligence (AI).
“My intention is not to interfere with anyone’s freedom or expression or to penalise anyone. My personality is my life’s work and I have worked hard to build it,” said Anil Kapoor.
The 67-year-old actor added, “With this lawsuit, I am seeking protection of my personality rights; to prevent against its misuse in any way, particularly in the current scenario with rapid changes in technology and tools like artificial intelligence that are easily misused to the detriment of the owners of such rights.”
In an interview with Variety, Kapoor said, “I’m very happy with this court order, which has come in my favour, and I think it’s very progressive and great for not only me but for other actors also. Because of the way technology and AI technology, which is which is evolving every day [and] which can completely take advantage of and be misused commercially, as well as where my image, voice, morphing, GIFs, and deep fakes are concerned, I can straight away, if that happens, send a court order and injunction and they have to pull it down.”
Kapoor, known for starring in several remarkable films including Lamhe, Nayak, and Welcome, had moved the Delhi High Court in a civil suit seeking protection of his personality- his name, photographs, manner of speaking, gestures, etc.
He also claimed protection of his copyright in the dialogue and in the image and other associated works.
Kapoor’s lawyer, intellectual property rights specialist Pravin Anand argued that several defendants had misappropriated Kapoor’s name and elements of his persona to earn profits.
For example, the expression “Jhakaas”, Kapoor’s trademark dialogue is a Marathi slang word but is popularised by Kapoor in Hindi films. The lawyer cited news reports stating that the manner in which Kapoor delivers the expression is exclusively associated with him.
Earlier in November 2022, the Delhi High Court had dealt with a similar case involving megastar Amitabh Bachchan.