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June 4 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm


The ongoing disputes involving Hollywood actress and OpenAI, and the legal action by the New York Times against OpenAI and Microsoft, underscore the significance of personality rights and the regulatory landscape for AI.  

Personality rights are vital for individuals, especially celebrities, to control their public persona. In India, while explicit laws on personality rights are lacking, various legal provisions and court judgments provide protection. 

Personality Rights 

Personality rights protect an individual’s personality, including their name, voice, signature, images, and other distinctive features. 

Scope: These rights cover various aspects such as: 

  • Name 
  • Voice 
  • Signature 
  • Images 
  • Distinctive features 
  • Mannerisms 
  • Poses 

Types of Personality Rights 

Right to Privacy: 

  • Protection: Safeguards personal information and private life from unauthorized disclosure or intrusion. 
  • Legal Basis: Affirmed by the Supreme Court in the Puttaswamy v Union of India (2017) case. 

Right of Publicity: 

  • Control: Allows individuals to control the commercial use of their name, image, likeness, or other recognizable characteristics. 
  • Usage: Individuals can choose how their persona is used in endorsements or advertisements. 

Importance of Personality Rights 

  • Misuse Prevention: Essential for celebrities as their persona can be exploited in advertisements to boost sales. 
  • Control Over Image: Ensures that public figures maintain control over their image and likeness. 

Status of Personality Rights in India 

Legal Provisions 

Article 21 of the Indian Constitution: 

  • Right to Privacy: Offers protection through the right to privacy, closely related to personality rights. 

Copyright Act, 1957: 

  • Protection: While not directly addressing personality rights, it offers protection through concepts like “passing off” and “deception.” 
  • Passing Off: Misrepresentation of goods/services as belonging to someone else, relevant if a celebrity’s persona is used without permission. 
  • Deception: Unauthorized use of a person’s likeness that misleads the public. 

Indian Trademarks Act, 1999: 

  • Section 14: Restricts the use of individual names and representations without consent. 

Court Judgments 

Krishna Kishore Singh vs. Sarla A Saraogi Case (2021): 

  • Publicity Rights: Recognized as distinct from privacy rights, and are inheritable and devisable. 

Arun Jaitley vs. Network Solutions Private Limited (2011): 

  • Online Significance: Acknowledged the importance of an individual’s name on the internet. 

Examples of Legal Protection 

  • Jackie Shroff (May 2024): Delhi High Court upheld his rights, restraining unauthorized use of his persona. 
  • Anil Kapoor (September 2023): Delhi High Court protected his image rights, prohibiting commercial use without consent. 
  • Daler Mehndi Case (2010): Delhi High Court ruled in favor of Mehndi, preventing the sale of dolls mimicking his persona. 

Status of AI Regulation in India

  • No Specific AI Regulation: India lacks specific laws for AI but provides oversight through various guidelines and IT rules. 

Key Initiatives and Frameworks 

NITI Aayog’s Leadership: 

  • National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence #AIForAll (2018): Aims for responsible AI development in sectors like healthcare, agriculture, education, and smart infrastructure. 

Digital Personal Data Protection Act (2023): 

  • Privacy Concerns: Addresses privacy issues related to AI use, empowering the government to regulate AI practices. 

Global Collaboration: 

  • GPAI Membership: Promotes responsible AI development, data governance, and ethical AI considerations. 


Personality rights are crucial for individuals, particularly celebrities, to safeguard their public persona. In India, while explicit statutory recognition is absent, various legal provisions and court rulings provide substantial protection. Concurrently, AI regulation in India is evolving, with significant initiatives aimed at ensuring responsible AI deployment and protecting privacy. 


June 4
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
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