Top Indian actor Anil Kapoor has won a landmark judgement against artificial intelligence (AI).
The “Slumdog Millionaire” star had filed a suit in the Delhi High Court through his lawyer Ameet Naik for protection of his personality rights including his name, image, likeness, voice and other attributes of his personality against any misuse including on digital media. The suit provided various instances of misuse of his attributes. The court, after a detailed hearing, granted an order on Wednesday acknowledging his personality rights and restraining all offenders from misusing his personality attributes without his permission in any manner.
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The order protects the actor’s rights across all modes and media worldwide.
“I’m very happy with this court order, which has come in my favor, and I think it’s very progressive and great for not only me but for other actors also,” Kapoor told Variety. “Because of the way technology and the AI technology, which is which is evolving every day [and] which can completely take advantage of and be misused commercially, as well as where my image, voice, morphing, GIFs and deep fakes are concerned, I can straight away, if that happens, send a court order and injunction and they have to pull it down.”
Kapoor took the step because of the large number of morphed videos and emojis bearing his likeness going around as well as his iconic phrase “jhakaas,” first used in 1985 film “Yudh.” The phrase, which translates roughly as ‘awesome’ or ‘wicked,’ is now protected by the court order.
“It’s not only for me. Today, I’m there to protect myself, but when I’m not there, the family should have the right to protect my [personality] and gain from it in future,” Kapoor said.
“My intention is not to interfere with anyone’s freedom of expression or to penalize anyone. My intent was to seek protection of my personality rights and prevent any misuse for commercial gains, particularly in the current scenario with rapid changes in technology and tools like artificial intelligence,” Kapoor added.
AI is one of the key issues of the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike and Kapoor, who is represented by David Unger at Artist International Group in Hollywood, expressed his support for his fellow actors. “This [the court order] should be great positive news for all of them to a certain extent. And I am always, completely with them in every which way, and I feel their rights should be protected, because everybody, big, small, popular, not popular, every actor has the right to protect themselves and their rights,” Kapoor said.
Kapoor has just returned from the Toronto Film Festival, where “Thank You for Coming,” produced by him and featuring him in a cameo, had a gala screening over the weekend. Kapoor describes the reaction to the film as “absolutely fantastic.” The crew got special permission to deploy Indian dhol drums and dance on the red carpet.
“It became more like a celebration of Indian cinema, and Indian culture and dance and music and warmth and hospitality. And it was wonderful.” Kapoor said.
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