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OJAANK IAS ACADEMY

Implications of Personality Rights

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Rounded Rectangle: Implications of Personality Rights

The Delhi High Court has recently passed an interim order which stops the violation of personal rights of Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan.

To sum up, recently Amitabh Bachchan approached the court seeking an omnibus injunction to protect his name, image, voice or any of his attributes in any way or form without his consent.

The court, through its order, restrained individuals at large from infringing on the personality rights of the actor. It also claimed that such misuse of personality rights may cause irreparable harm to the applicant.

Personality rights refer to a person’s right to protect his or her personality under the right to privacy or property. These rights are important for celebrities as their name, photo or even voice can be easily misused in various advertisements to increase sales.

Therefore, it is necessary for famous personalities to register their names to protect their personality rights.

There is no separate codified law in India to deal with personality rights. These have been protected through various articles-

(1) Article 21 – The closest law to protect personality rights is in Article 21 of the Indian Constitution under the right to privacy and publicity.

(2) Copyright Act 1957 – Under the Act, moral rights are given only to authors and performers including actors, singers, musicians, dancers etc.

(3) The Indian Trade Marks Act, 1999 – Section 14 of this Act prohibits the use of personal names. The rights of personality are also protected under the common law remedy of passing off and the law of torts.

(3) Passing off โ€“ It occurs when one knowingly or unknowingly passes off his goods or services as belonging to another party.

(4) Law of Tort โ€“ It refers to a body of law which provides remedies for non-contractual acts of civil wrongs.

How are personality rights different from publicity rights?

Right of publicity refers to the right to protect one’s image and likeness from commercial exploitation without permission, similar to the use of a trademark, while right to privacy refers to the right to have one’s personality publicly displayed without permission. Not doing it.

How do other countries deal with personality rights?

In the United States and Britain, there is no specific statute aimed at dealing with personality rights alone. However, the US provides protections with respect to false endorsements, associations and affiliations. In Canada both the law of torts and statutory law cover the subject matter.

In a free and democratic society, where every individual’s right to free speech is assured, overemphasis on the publicity rights of a celebrity may curtail the exercise of such an invaluable democratic right.

The courts need to strike a balance between the protection of the highly valued rights of the individuals in the society and the democratic right of the individuals. Meanwhile, it is equally important to protect the interests of the consumers as well from any form of misleading advertisements and endorsements.

-OJAANK SHUKLA

( DIRECTOR โ€“ OJAANK IAS )


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