A lawyer, who was part of the team that represented Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan in a case filed to restrain unauthorised use of the veteran actor’s voice, image and personality rights, has stated that their intent “is not to take away anything from anyone.”
Ameet Naik, who was part of the team, also said that the court order has prospective effect.
“The intent of this is not to take away anything from anyone, it is that, come to Mr Bachchan. It should be with his consent and I think it owes to every individual that what you do, must come with your consent,” he said.
Bachchan filed the lawsuit seeking protection in the Delhi High Court following which the court passed an interim ex-parte injunction in his favour.
The actor was represented by eminent lawyer Harish Salve along with Ameet Naik and Pravin Anand. The matter was heard before Justice Navin Chawla.
“This is a suit that Mr Bachchan filed on personality which means all his attributes, his voice, his image, his photograph and his dialogue delivery,” Naik told ANI.
“The basis of action was that in October Mr Bachchan realised through us lawyers that there is misuse in a lottery where his image is being used, in a voice call, in a false video call, so obviously prior to this, notices were being issued but it’s extremely difficult to monitor which is why in October when we realised this suit was filed.
Stating that this suit was against 8 known defendants and then the world at large, he said, “This is a hybrid action which is against the world at large which is unknown defendants. So Justice Chawla has passed a very interesting order. It basically restrains anybody from using Mr Bachchan’s name, Amitabh Bachchan, Bachchan, AB or Big B, his image, his photograph, and his voice. This is an absolute order, there are no carve-outs to this without his permission.”
During the court proceedings, it was also brought to the notice of the Delhi High Court that alleged infringers have illegally registered Bachchan’s name as web-domain names such as www.amitabhbachchan.com and www.amitabhbachchan.in.
Naik said they also relied upon recent literature where certain domain names and fake domain names were registered in Bachchan’s name.
“There is a direction by the Delhi High Court in terms of Clauses 3 and 4 and the department of telecommunication to remove those websites.
Asked whether there was any limitation about anything that can be done commercially or non-commercially without his permission, Naik said: “No, it is going to be decided by Mr Bachchan alone what he wishes to do and please understand that this suit is about misuse, about his image. There is no dispute that Mr Bachchan is a personality, there is no dispute that he has acquired goodwill, there is no dispute that he has acquired a reputation.
Speaking about previous ads where Bachchan’s name or voice may have been used, he added. “The order is prospective in nature. One will have to evaluate and see if there is any misuse, the question is what does it date back to, and where does it date back to, that will all be a matter of interpretation but the fact of the matter is that the order is prospective in nature,” he said.