PERSONALITY RIGHTS (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Polity)

News-CRUX-10     24th May 2024        
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Context: A Hollywood actor expressed "shock" and "anger" over GPT-4's voice, which she claims sounds "eerily similar" to hers, amid ongoing legal cases against OpenAI for using copyrighted works and potentially infringing on celebrities' personality rights.

Personality Rights

  • Definition: It refer to the right of a person to protect his/her personality under the right to privacy or property.
  • Protection from Misuse: These rights are important to celebrities as their names, photographs, or even voices can easily be misused in various advertisements by different companies to boost their sales.
  • Comprehensive Protection: A large list of unique personal attributes contribute to the making of a celebrity, all of which need to be protected, such as name, nickname, stage name, picture, likeness, image, and any identifiable personal property, such as a distinctive race car.
  • Difference between Publicity Rights and Personality Rights
  • Right of Publicity: The right of publicity refers to the right to keep one’s image and likeness from being commercially exploited without permission or contractual compensation, similar to the use of a trademark.
  • Right to Privacy: The right to privacy involves the right to not have one’s personality represented publicly without permission.


Personality rights in India

  • About: Article 21 of the Indian Constitution addresses personality rights within the broader context of privacy and publicity.
  • Protection under Copyright Law: The Copyright Act, 1957, extends moral rights to authors and performers, allowing them to claim authorship and prevent unauthorized use of their work.
  • Personal Rights in Trademarks: The Indian Trademarks Act, 1999, safeguards personal rights by restricting the unauthorized use of personal names and representations under Section 14.
  • Judicial Interpretation: The Delhi High Court, in the Arun Jaitley vs Network Solutions Private Limited and Ors Case (2011), equated online and offline fame, recognizing the distinctive nature of personal names in the digital realm.