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CELEBRITY RIGHTS IN INDIA

In recent times media has grown in importance which has resulted in the need of regulating the dealings of the media through effective regulations.

The various rights of a celebrity are stated as under :

  • Personality Rights: An individual's contribution to society is his right and such personality rights are protected

  • Privacy Rights: Celebrities try to keep their personal information as private as possible in order to avoid embarrassment the Constitution under Article 21 recognizes this Right to Privacy as a fundamental Right. Celebrities may also find recourse in an action of invasion of privacy.

  • Publicity Rights: The right to use the value of the fame of a celebrity is known as publicity rights. In this regard it would be pertinent to mention that fame is an act projected to augment sales.

In India, the Supreme Court has laid down the following with regard to publicity rights in India :

The right of publicity has evolved from the right of privacy and can inhere only in an individual or in any indicia of an individual's personality like his name, personality trait, signature, voice. etc. An individual may acquire the right of publicity by virtue of his association with an event, sport, movie, etc. However, that right does not inhere in the event in question, that made the individual famous, nor in the corporation that has brought about the organization of the event. Any effort to take away the right of publicity from the individuals, to the organizer /non-human entity of the event would be violative of Articles 19 and 2l of the Constitution of India - No persona can be monopolized. 'The right of Publicity' vests in an individual and he alone is entitled to profit from it. For example if any entity, was to use Kapil Dev or Sachin Tendulkar's name persona/ indicia in connection with the World Cup without their authorization they would have a valid and enforceable cause of action.

The Delhi High court considered that Image Rights in India arises from the right of privacy which have been developed from case to case and originates from human dignity as envisaged in Articles 19 and 21 of the Constitution. This view is in contradistinction to the view of considering publicity rights as commercial property.