Renowned Indian actor Anil Kapoor has achieved a significant legal victory in a New Delhi court regarding the unauthorized use of his likeness through artificial intelligence technology. Kapoor stressed that this legal action isn’t just for his benefit but also for the future protection of his personality and its potential benefits for his family.
Kapoor, acclaimed for his roles in numerous Bollywood hits and the Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire, secured an interim order against 16 defendants. The court has ruled that these parties are “restrained from in any manner utilizing Anil Kapoor’s name likeness, image, voice, or any other aspect of his persona to create any merchandise, ringtones, either for monetary gain or otherwise.”
Expressing his views on the decision, Kapoor emphasized the progressive nature of the ruling, stating, “I think the decision is very progressive and great not only for me but for other actors also, because of the way AI technology is evolving every day.”
The actor took legal action in response to the widespread use of distorted videos, gifs, and emojis bearing his likeness. He also sought protection for his catchphrase, “jhakaas,” which he coined in the 1985 film “Yudh” and roughly translates to “awesome.”
This legal development occurs amid a broader debate between US writers, actors unions, and studio representatives. A central issue in this debate is the use of AI to generate profits from an actor’s image indefinitely, without their consent or appropriate compensation.
Kapoor expressed solidarity with actors in the US who are currently on strike for their rights. He hopes that his victory will be seen as positive news for their cause, emphasizing that every actor, regardless of their popularity, deserves protection.