In the case of Mr. Anil Kapoor v. Simply Life India and Ors., filed in the Delhi High Court, the Plaintiff, a well-known Indian actor, sought legal protection for his personality rights, publicity rights and other elements associated with his persona. Numerous offenders were identified engaging in illegal activities including but not limited to deep fake videos, merchandise featuring the Plaintiff’s appearance without due consent.
- The Plaintiff sought legal redress to protect his personality rights as well as the copyright in his dialogues and other related works. He also used the application of common law rights to protect himself from infringement, dilution, and unfair competition.
- The Defendants were involved in a variety of illegal activities, including the creation and distribution of offensive content through the use of various technological tools, including Artificial Intelligence.
- The Plaintiff’s argument underlined that the misappropriation of his assets represented a significant threat to his reputation, livelihood, and right to live in dignity.
- The court ordered an ex parte injunction, thereby prohibiting the Defendants from using any of the technical tools for commercial purposes to exploit the Plaintiff’s rights.
- Domain name registrars were told to lock and suspend domain names incorporating the name of the Plaintiff.
- The Department of Telecommunications and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology were added as parties to assist in executing the court’s orders and ensuring the Plaintiff’s rights were protected.
- The Plaintiff was granted the right to own domain names relating to him upon payment of charges, thereby enhancing the protection of his online presence.
This case emphasises the critical need to preserve public figures’ and celebrities’ rights and qualities, especially in the digital era, where illegal use of their identity can result in a slew of legal complications. The court’s decision to grant an ex parte injunction and secure domain names linked with the Plaintiff’s name represents an important step toward ensuring that a public figure’s reputation and image are not tainted or utilised without permission. It establishes a precedent for protecting the rights of people whose names and likenesses are used on the internet, reaffirming their rights to privacy, dignity, and reputation.