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HC asks Amazon to take down Telugu film

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday directed Amazon Seller Services Private Limited, which provides content to over the top streaming service of Amazon Web Services, to take down the Telugu film ‘V' within 24 hours until the image of actor Sakshi Malik is completely deleted from it.

A bench of justice G.S. Patel was hearing an interim application filed by Ms. Malik through advocate Saveena T Bedi. She has alleged illegal use of her still image in the film that was released on Amazon Prime on September 5, 2020. She has filed a defamation suit for ₹30 crore, mandatory injunction and damages.

Ms. Malik had commissioned a photographer on 24, 2017 and the photo shoot took place on August 1. A few days later, the photographer shared the photos via Google drive link. She then uploaded a part of the photo portfolio in her Instagram account.

It is pointed out that her photograph was used in the film when there is a reference to a female escort or a commercial worker. Ms. Malik in her complaint said the unauthorised use of private material was an invasion of privacy.

The court noted that the argument was prima facie correct. “Indeed, I do not believe there is any other way of looking at it.”

The court directed Amazon to take down the all versions of the film, irrespective of language and sub-titles, until such time as Venkateshwara Creations Pvt Ltd had completely deleted all images of Ms. Malik from their work. Merely pixelating or blurring the image was not acceptable.

The bench restrained the release of the film on any media platform or through any medium or in any version until the deletions were done.

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