Indian Actor Anil Kapoor Wins Court Order Against Unauthorized AI Deepfakes
Indian actor Anil Kapoor has secured a win in court against the unauthorized creation and use of AI imitations of his likeness and other deepfake synthetic media based on his image and personality. A New Delhi court issued an interim order against 16 defendants barring them from exploiting the Bollywood star’s name, likeness, or other aspects of his identity for commercial gain without permission. This includes use in merchandise, ringtones, videos, and other content.
Kapoor sought legal recourse in response to the proliferation of distorted videos, GIFs, and emojis bearing his appearance. The unauthorized use of a catchphrase of his also prompted the legal action, which is aimed at establishing protections that outlive Kapoor’s career, according to the legal filing. The decision by the Indian court won’t set anything in stone in India or globally, but it does help in establishing an early precedent on behalf of those who wish to protect the economic value of their face and persona.
“The technological tools now available make it possible for any unauthorized user to make use of celebrities’ persona, by using such tools including Artificial Intelligence. The celebrity also enjoys the right of privacy and does not wish that his or her image, voice is portrayed in a dark manner as is being done on porn websites,” Justice Prathiba Singh wrote in his decision. “Using a person’s name, voice, dialogue and image in an illegal manner, that too for commercial purposes, cannot be permitted. The celebrity’s right of endorsement could in fact be a major source of livelihood for the celebrity.”
Generative AI’s ability to quickly create convincing deepfakes of people has spawned plenty of concern from individuals, companies, and regulators. For instance, Google recently changed its rules for political ads so that any synthetic media has to be marked as such. Still, at this point, there’s evidence that deepfake videos of a celebrity can successfully scam a lot of people out of money, and synthetically generated songs with celebrity voices rack up millions of listens. Attempts to stop it in court or create legal channels for deepfake music and movies aren’t going to go away, but it may require extensive regulation on a national and international level to make any headway in preventing illicit deepfke creation.