Delhi High Court: Amitabh Bachchan’s voice, image can’t be used without permission

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New Delhi: The Delhi High Court passed an interim order on Friday restraining unauthorized use of actor Amitabh Bachchan’s voice, image or any other trait exclusively identifiable with him by any individual.

Bollywood veteran actor Amitabh Bachchan filed a suit in Delhi High Court alleging that exploitation of his publicity rights as a celebrity by several individuals, including the persons behind a KBC lottery. He is the host of popular TV game show KBC.

Delhi High Court Judge Justice Navin Chawla said it is undisputed that Bachchan is a well-known personality and is likely to suffer an irreparable loss and disrepute if relief is not granted at this stage. I am of the view that the plaintiff has made out a prima facie case for grant of ex parte interim relief, the judge said.

The Court directed telecom authorities to take action to pull down websites providing content in violation of Bachchan’s rights. It also directed telecom service providers to block access to telephone numbers circulating infringing messages.

Senior advocate Harish Salve said the relief of injunction was sought not only against the individuals named in the lawsuit but also against John Doe parties or unknown parties who may be exploiting Bachchan’s publicity rights. Domain names were registered under the actor’s name; there was Amitabh Bachchan Video Call and even T-shirts bearing his photographs, he added.

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