Actor Jackie Shroff Moves Delhi HC Seeking to Safeguard Persona and Publicity Rights

Jackie Shroff

Actor Jackie Shroff has moved the Delhi High Court for the protection of his personality and publicity rights.

The lawsuit was filed against various entities that used his name, photographs, voice, and the word “Bhidu” without his permission.

The actor, through this suit, seeks direction to protect the Plaintiff’s name, voice, image, likeness, and all other distinctive elements of the Plaintiff’s persona, whose unauthorized use by third parties is likely to cause confusion and deception among the public. A bench of Justice Sanjeev Narula issued a summons to the actor’s suit and stated that it will hear the case tomorrow on the interim injunction application.

Injunction Order

The actor seeks a permanent injunction prohibiting the defendants from infringing the Plaintiff’s personality and publicity rights by using the Plaintiff’s name “Jackie Shroff,” “Jackie,” “Jaggu Dada,” “Bhidu,” voice, image, and any other attribute that is uniquely identifiable with him for any commercial or personal gain.

The plea requests that the court issue a permanent injunction restraining Defendant Bhidu Shawarma restaurant and its associates, servants, agents, affiliates, holding companies, and representatives from infringing the Plaintiff’s registered trademark by using it as part of its trade name ‘Bhidu Shawarma & Restaurant’ or any other trade name/trade mark that is deceptively similar to the Plaintiff’s registered trademark number.
The suit also concerns the violation of the Plaintiff’s moral rights in his performances, which were conferred upon him under Section 38B of the Copyright Act of 1957.

Violation of Actor’s Moral Rights

The Plaintiff, as an actor, has appeared in numerous cinematographic films and thus has moral rights in his performances in such films, as well as the right to prevent any third party from distorting, mutilating, or otherwise altering his performance in a way that harms his reputation.
In the context of the current proceedings, the Defendants are extracting clips from movies or other cinematographic works that feature the Plaintiff’s performances for the purpose of creating and communicating graphic/interchange formats (GIFs), among other things.

The suit claims that Plaintiff was not informed prior to the creation and dissemination of such GIFs, nor was his consent sought or obtained. The Defendants violate the Plaintiff’s moral rights in his performances by reproducing clips of his performance, particularly in a way that brings him disrepute and makes him the subject of unsavoury humour.

Misappropriation of any attribute of the Plaintiff’s persona without his express permission for a commercial purpose is likely to be restrained not only under the traditional definition of publicity rights, which is the exclusive right to commercially exploit one’s persona, but also under the tort of dilution, specifically tarnishment.

Unauthorized Use of Celebrity Names & Images

Recently, the Delhi High Court prohibited the unauthorised use of actor Anil Kapoor’s personality or name for commercial purposes. In 2022, Amitabh Bachchan filed a complaint with the Delhi High Court against the illegal use of his voice and image.

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About the Author: Nunnem Gangte