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Bombay HC orders Amazon Prime Video to take down Telugu film ‘V’

Direction comes after Mumbai actor files defamation suit against makers of V.

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NEW DELHI: The Bombay high court has directed OTT platform Amazon Prime Video to take down Telugu movie V following a defamation suit filed by a Mumbai-based actor. Sakshi Malik has sought the deletion of a scene in the film in which her portfolio picture was used without her permission. The court has ordered that the film be restrained until the scene in question is deleted.

V, starring Telugu actor Nani and Aditi Rao Hydari, released on 5 September 2020 and has been removed from the streamer following the high court’s order. A single bench headed by justice GS Patel has asked the makers of the film, Venkateshwara Creations, to take down the telecast of the film in all versions, irrespective of language and subtitles until the said deletion, reported Livelaw. 

In her complaint, Malik stated she had commissioned a photo portfolio which was later shared on her Instagram account in 2017. The actor accused Venkateshwara Creations of using the picture in the movie V to depict a commercial sex worker.

The court order read, "It seems to me self-evident that it is not possible to use the image of any person for a commercial purpose without express written consent. If images are to be used without such express consent, they must be covered by some sort of legally enforceable and tenable licensing regime, whether with or without royalty. Simply using another's image, and most especially a private image, without consent is prima facie impermissible, unlawful and entirely illegal. In a given case, it may also be defamatory, depending on the type of use.”

The actor’s counsel, Alankar Kirpekar and Saveena T Bedi, argued that the actions by the filmmakers resulted in an unauthorised invasion of privacy. The judge said, “The fact that the image has been illicitly used is bad enough. It only makes matters worse when used in a plainly derogatory and demeaning vein.”

The judge further added that the defendants will have to show the actor and her lawyers the altered portion before the court allows its re-release on Amazon Prime Video. 

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