For Indian mimicry artists, impersonating Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan is no longer an option after the actor won interim legal protection of his name, image, voice and his “unique style of dialogue delivery” at the Delhi High Court.
Although celebrity rights are not recognised in India, the court also ordered the removal of any content showing impersonations of him online.
Bachchan's case came on the heels of news that fraudsters had used his quiz show 'Kaun Banega Crorepati?’, the Indian version of 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?', to scam people out of money.
“Someone is making T-shirts and started putting his face on them. Someone is selling his poster. Someone has gone and registered a domain name, amitabhbachchan.com,” Harish Salve, a lawyer for Bachchan, told the court. “This is why we have come.”
Bollywood is one of the largest film industries in the world, with one study valuing the industry at $2.8 billion. And Bachchan is one of the most recognisable faces in the industry, something that the hundreds of impersonators and mimicry artists across India take advantage of.