Extending celebrity status to IP rights

Legendary Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan recently lent his voice to an unusual IP rights case in the media and entertainment industry. He spoke out against the unauthorised use of a soundalike of his distinctive deep baritone in an advertisement promoting a brand of gutka (chewing tobacco), an association which was detrimental to his image. Previously, Rajnikant, another legendary actor from the South Indian film industry, issued a legal notice warning against the imitation of his persona and character traits for commercial gain, including unauthorised advertisements, before the release of his film Baba. The legal notice published in various leading regional and national newspapers was an assertion by Rajnikant of his personality rights. While Indian celebrities have intermittently attempted to protect their personality rights, the law on this aspect has taken a long time to develop.

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