Indian Perspective of Publicity Rights of Celebrities in Modern Times

Pranjal Mishra
Maharashtra National Law University Mumbai, India.

Volume II – Issue III, 2020

In the time of technology and social media, any person can be regarded as a celebrity who has become well-known among the public at large, not only for the occupation which one performs but also for the personality which one carries through. These celebrities have rights in terms of privacy and publicity and such rights are protected by intellectual property law regime because of their intangible nature. This paper reflects the economical perspective of such publicity rights as merchandising rights and highlights the Indian context related to it. The first part gives a brief account of celebrities’ rights and their evolution while defining celebrities and the importance of media and global communication behind it. The second part discusses the right of publicity as a form of IPR. The third part analyzes celebrities as marketable commodities and development of publicity rights as merchandising rights through the lens of economics along with the relevant case laws. The fourth part analyzes the current position of Indian laws for the protection of the rights and lays down the justifications for the need of protecting the publicity rights. Lastly, the article highlights the lacunae in the current regime and concludes with the opposite protocols for the current framework. 

Keywords: Celebrities, Indian perspective, Publicity rights, Economic Interest, Merchandising.


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