PART 2 –  POSTHUMOUS SURVIVAL OF PRIVACY & PERSONALITY RIGHTS

Introduction:

In Part 1 of this article, the author carved out the distinction between privacy rights, publicity rights and the right to reputation and established that the right to personality/publicity flows from the right to privacy. While the Supreme Court of India in the Puttaswamy case[1] has clarified that privacy rights do not survive the death of an individual, the question that remains is: Even though personality/ publicity rights flow from the right to privacy, owing to the difference in their nature, can publicity rights survive the death of an individual even though the right to privacy does not?

This question remains to be answered, given that, in this era, even a deceased person’s publicity right can be exploited to generate millions. According to Forbes, one group of dead celebrities tracked by the magazine generated $363.5 million between October 2013 and October 2014, with Michael Jackson’s music and publicity rights generating $140 million alone.[2] The value associated with these individuals’ names did not disappear when they died. Indeed, in some instances, it is the person’s death that created the mystique that transformed them from merely famous to iconic. However, the concept of posthumous publicity rights is recognized only in a few states in the world. A few states in the United States of America (USA) recognize a right of publicity, but there are differences as to whether the right of publicity survives death and, if so, for how long. In some states of USA, the right of publicity survives death because it is a property right that can be assigned during an individual’s life to another person or after death to the individual’s estate. For example, Florida recognizes the survival of this right for 40 years after death, Illinois for 50 years, California for 70 years and Indiana for 100 years. There are other states – most notably New York – where the right of publicity does not survive death.

The jurisprudence of publicity/ personality rights is in its developing stages in India. There is no separate codified law in India dealing with publicity/ personality rights and the position and development of such rights and laws in India is still largely governed by judicial pronouncements of courts. In Part 2 of this article, the author shall discuss two recent cases of Indian courts, both revolving around the subject of privacy, reputation and personality rights of deceased individuals.

The Dr. J. Jayalalitha Judgement[3]

An appeal was filed in the Madras High Court in 2020 by former Chief Minister Dr. J. Jayalalithaa’s niece J. Deepa (“Petitioner/ Appellant”) against a 2019 single Judge’s refusal to injunct the release of Kangana Ranaut and Arvind Swami-starrer film titled “Thalaivi” in Tamil and “Jaya” in Hindi (“Film”) produced by Vishnu Vardhan Induri (“1st Respondent”) and directed by A.L. Vijay (“2nd Respondent”), based on the book “Thalaivi” (“Book 1”); and the release of the web – series titled “Queen” (“Series”) directed by Gowtham Vasudev Menon (“3rd Respondent”) and inspired from the book “Queen” (“Book 2”)  (the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Respondent hereinafter collectively referred to as “Respondents”). The appeal was filed on the ground that the Film and the Series were not made with the Appellant’s consent, and therefore, will violate the right of privacy of Dr. J. Jayalalithaa and her family.

Facts and Decision of the Single Judge: The Petitioner filed a case in the Madras High Court contending that while the Film and Series portray Dr. J. Jayalalitha and her personal life, the Petitioner’s part in the Film and the Series may be depicted by the 1st & 2nd Respondents and 3rd Respondent respectively in a manner which may affect the family privacy of the Petitioner. The apprehension of the Appellant was that, during the production of the Film, the Respondents may interpolate the scenes which would affect the dignity and reputation of Dr. J. Jayalalitha, while narrating the story, for their commercial enrichment. Thus, the Petitioner contended that to safeguard the posthumous personality and privacy rights of her aunt – Dr. J. Jayalalitha and the interest of her family’s privacy, the 1st & 2nd Respondents and 3rd Respondent should not be permitted to proceed with the production of the Film or Series or releasing the same for public exhibition. In this instance, it becomes clear that the petitioner’s contentions were three-fold; (i) the unauthorized usage of Dr. Jayalalitha’s personality rights; (ii) breach of Dr. Jayalalitha’s right of privacy; and (iii) how in turn, such unauthorized usage of the deceased’s personality and privacy rights would violate the surviving family members’ right to privacy.

The single Judge of the Madras High Court in tackling the three-fold issue held that since it was categorically stated by the Respondents that the Petitioner would not be depicted in a single scene in the Film, the privacy rights of the Petitioner would not be infringed. However, without opining on the legal point of posthumous privacy rights and personality rights, the single Judge stated that release of the Film would be subject to certification by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), and during such certification process, if any objectionable material is contained therein, the CBFC would raise objections or if necessary, insist upon removal of such objectionable materials as a condition precedent for grant of censor certificate. However, in relation to the Series, the single Judge held that as regards to the personality rights, it is difficult to accept that the Petitioner has inherited the personality rights of her aunt and that the question as to whether such rights are capable of being inherited would have to await trial. Thus, the single Judge of the Madras High Court did not pass any interim order to stop the production or release of the Film or the Series.

It is pertinent to note that the line of reasoning adopted by the single Judge towards the Film was more on the merits of certification requirement and a checks and balance system already in place. This line of reasoning is a commonly used line of argument as far as contentious content goes, in relation to the subject matter of films. In relation to the Series, which does not have a robust certification framework to fall back upon, the single Judge was constrained to pass a prima facie opinion which addresses the question of this article: Whether personality rights can be inherited? In relation to the question to Dr. Jayalalitha’s privacy rights in relation to the Series, emphasis was placed on the fictional nature of the Series, and therefore, it would not be infringing Dr. Jayalalitha’s privacy rights (i.e., by demarcating and differentiating it from the assertion of posthumous rights of privacy, for which a balance of convenience test seems to be preferred).

Appeal to the Division Bench: The Appellant aggrieved by the order passed by the learned single Judge, appealed the order, and submitted that:

  • The Appellant as a Class I legal heir (as per Hindu Law) of late Dr. J. Jayalalitha is entitled to institute the present suit to safeguard the “posthumous right of privacy” and to protect the dignity and legacy of her late aunt Dr. J. Jayalalitha. While making this submission the Appellant cited the case of Rajagopal Vs. State of Tamil Nadu[4] (“Rajagopal Judgment), wherein, the Supreme Court of India, while summarizing the principles therein, had observed that a citizen has a right to safeguard the privacy of his own, his family, marriage, procreation, motherhood, child-bearing and education, among other matters and no one can publish anything concerning the above matters without his consent–whether truthful or otherwise and whether laudatory or critical, and if he does so, he would be violating the right of privacy of the person concerned and would be liable in an action for damages. It is pertinent to note that the 1st and 2nd Respondent also placed reliance on the case of Rajagopal Judgment stating the Supreme Court held that a right to publish exists if it is based on public records. The arguments presented by both sides relying on the Rajagopal Judgment[5] in fact shapes the contours of the right to privacy and essentially leads back to the Single Bench’s reasoning that the right to privacy has to be balanced with the right of freedom of expression under the Constitution, both being fundamental rights i.e., the balance of convenience theory.

 

  • The Appellant contended that the Series shows untrue and disturbing scenes including scenes where Dr. J. Jayalalitha is shown to cut her wrist, where Dr. J. Jayalalitha is shown to be begging her male co – star to marry her and scenes where Dr. J. Jayalalitha’s brother is shown as a drug addict. The Appellant claimed that these were not real instances and they portrayed Dr. J. Jayalalitha and her family members in poor light; and Respondent No.3 is using the defense of the Series being wholly fiction as a smoke-screen, as it seeks to sensationalize the personal life of Dr. J. Jayalalitha. Prima facie, when one looks at the averment made by the Appellant herein, it appears that the these are more on the lines of defamation than on the violation of the right to privacy and unauthorized usage of the personality rights i.e., that the aforementioned dramatized scenes in the Series would harm the reputation of such person, as they were factually incorrect. It is pertinent to note that reliance was placed by Respondent No. 3 on the fact that the Series was a “dramatization and fictional recreation of true events”, was based on Book 2, and had included a disclaimer specifically stating that the Series was not a biography of Dr. J. Jayalalitha. This combination of fictionalization along with reliance on a prior publication and an appropriate disclaimer has been seen to be adopted in numerous defamation matters as discussed in the case of Vadlapadla Naga Vara Prasad v Chairperson, Central Board of Film Certification, Bharat Bhavan, Mumbai[6]. This element of defamation was not elaborately tackled by the Division Bench in this judgement but was briefly opined upon during the reading of Section 306 of the Indian Succession Act, 1925[7] along with Rule 1 of Order XXII of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908[8].

Upon hearing both the parties, the major question before the Division Bench was that: “Whether the posthumous right of the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu is inheritable by the Appellant to restrain the Respondents from releasing the Series or the Film”?  While dealing with this issue, the Madras High Court referred to the following judgements:

  • Justice K.S. Puttaswamy (Retd.) vs. Union of India & Ors.[9] – In this case the Supreme Court had held that “right to privacy of any individual is essentially a natural right, which inheres in every human being by birth. Such right remains with the human being till he/she breathes last. It is indeed inseparable and inalienable from human being. In other words, it is born with the human being and extinguishes with human being”.

 

  • Managing Director, Makkal Tholai Thodarpu Kuzhumam Limited Vs. Mrs. V. Muthulakshmi[10] – In this case the Madras High Court held that the “right of privacy” of the late forest brigand Veerappan, did not subsist after his death, in view of the undertaking that the “right of privacy” of Veerappan’s wife and daughters, would not be affected. In this judgment, the Court categorically rejected the argument regarding inheritability of the “right of privacy” because even during the lifetime of Veerappan himself, publications had been made and he had not taken any steps to oppose them, so the question of continuation of privacy after his death is not at all an acceptable argument.

 

  • Melepurath Sankunni Ezhuthassan Vs. Thekittil Geopalankutty Nair[11]Under the common law, the general rule was that death of either party extinguished any cause of action in tort by one against the other. This was expressed by the maxim ‘acto personalis moritur cum persona’ (a personal action dies with the person). In India, which causes of action survive and which abate is laid down in Section 306 of the Indian Succession Act, 1925[12]. Section 306 speaks of an action and not of an appeal. Reading of Section 306 along with Rule 1[13] of Order XXII of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, it is, however, clear that a cause of action for defamation, existing in favour of or against a person at the time of his decease, does not survive the death of the appellant.

Decision of the Division Bench: Upon analysing the arguments of both the sides and the above – mentioned judgements, the Division Bench held that:

  • Privacy or reputation earned by a person during his or her lifetime, extinguishes with his or her death. After the death of a person, the reputation earned cannot be inherited like a movable or immovable property by his or her legal heirs. Such personality right, reputation or privacy enjoyed by a person during his lifetime comes to an end after his or her lifetime. Therefore, we are of the opinion that “posthumous right” is not an “alienable right” and the Appellant is not entitled for an injunction on the ground that the “posthumous right” of her aunt is sought to be sullied by the release of the Film. The Division Bench reiterated the single Judge’s judgment that release of the Film is subject to the certification to be given by the CBFC. The CBFC will have an opportunity to go through the contents of the Film.

 

  • As regards the Series, the Division Bench stated that the Appellant alleged that certain scenes in the web-series have portrayed the former Chief Minister in poor light but the same was not pleaded in the plaint. It is the opinion of the author that it is this observation by the learned Court that stresses on the importance of identifying the right cause of action, and not using the terms “right to privacy”, “personality/ publicity rights” and “defamation” interchangeably even if they are connected. This course of action is even highlighted in the order of Bombay City Civil Court in relation to the Gangubai Film as discussed below.

 

  • The right of freedom of speech and expression enshrined under Article 19 (1) (a) of the Constitution of India is not conditioned/restricted on the premise that a filmmaker must only portray one version of facts. Therefore, there is no obligation on the part of the Respondents to take prior consent from the Appellant. To this effect the court referred to the case – Rangarajan vs. Jagjivan Ram[14], wherein, it was held that it is the duty of the State to protect the freedom of expression since it is a liberty guaranteed against the State. The State cannot plead its inability to handle the hostile audience problem. It is its obligatory duty to prevent it and protect the freedom of expression.

 

The Gangubai Kathiawadi Order[15]

Bhansali Productions and Pen India Limited (collectively referred to as “Producers”) produced a film titled ‘Gangubai Kathiawadi’ starring Alia Bhatt and directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali (“Gangubai Film”). The Gangubai Film is based on a chapter about Gangubai Kothewali from the novel ‘Mafia Queens of Mumbai: Stories of women from the ganglands’, which is an Indian 2011 non-fiction crime novel written by Hussain Zaidi with original research by reporter Jane Borges.

Order of the Bombay City Civil Court: After the release of the trailer of the Gangubai Film, the adopted son of Gangubai Kathiawadi – Babuji Shah, filed a case in the Bombay City Civil Court in February 2021, stating that the chapters on Kathiawadi in the novel were defamatory, tarnished her reputation and infringed upon the right to privacy and self-respect of his purported deceased mother. However, the only relief he claimed for was an injunction on the release of the Gangubai Film or promo in public, without claiming any further right or declaration that the Gangubai Film was defamatory. Since the plaintiff did not claim for the relief of declaration that the Gangubai Film was in fact defamatory in nature, the court held that no court could presume straight away a film/ article is defamatory, else it would be a pre-determination and pre-conception of the said issue and no court can be a party to that issue. Thus, without delving into the merits of the case or penning any opinion on privacy or personality rights, the Court dismissed the suit, notwithstanding other procedural shortcomings that were raised in the filing of the suit.

Order of the Metropolitan Magistrate at Mazgaon: In March 2021, the Metropolitan Magistrate at Mazgaon, Mumbai – Shital Bangad, issued summons to authors of Mafia Queens of Mumbai, the Producers and Alia Bhatt in relation to the criminal defamation complaint filed by Babuji Shah. The complaint filed by Babuji Shah claimed that Kathiawadi lived her life with dignity and respect; she was a social worker who fought for the rights of sex workers and to prevent human trafficking. Babuji Shah also claimed that he was unaware of the novel written by Hussain Zaidi till it came to light on social media and in the news after the release of the Gangubai Film’s promo. Babuji Shah further stated that after the release of the promo, people in his vicinity started passing inappropriate comments about him and his family members; he stated that the female members in the family allegedly suffered the consequences of being associated with a prostitute. The Court noted that no consent was obtained from Babuji Shah prior to the publishing of the novel written by Hussain Zaidi or releasing the promo of the Gangubai Film; and that portraying the image of deceased Gangubai without consent of family members amounted to defaming her image. The court stated that even though the novel written by Hussain Zaidi was released in 2017, the cause and effect of the act of defamation ensued only after the promo was released, considering the large – scale viewership of TV channels, films, OTT platforms and other social media mediums. Finding sufficient grounds to attract Section 499 – Explanation 1 of the Indian Penal Code, the court decided to “issue process” against the authors of the novel and the Producers for the offence of defamation as per Sections 500[16], 501[17] and 502[18] of the Indian Penal Code.

It is pertinent to note that in the City Civil Court case, the City Civil Judge while relying upon the case of N.S. Veerabhadraiah V/s. Aroon Purie and Ors.[19], treated the concept of privacy and defamation as one and the same thing and stated that the suit was not maintainable on the ground that a personal right of action dies with the person. However, the paragraph of the N. S. Veerabhadraiah judgement reproduced by the City Civil Judge stated: “When the suit was pending trial, Plaintiff died on 12.12.2008. By order dated 23.4.2010, the application filed by the legal representatives of Plaintiff was dismissed on the ground that the suit is founded on torts which is purely a personal right of the plaintiff and as per Section 306 of Indian Succession Act[20], cause of action does not survive, and the suit will stand abated”. It is this author’s opinion that the City Civil Judge’s reliance on this judgement was incorrect as Section 306 of Indian Succession Act[21] only talks about the survival of existing claims and actions of and against a person, at the time of death, and specifically excludes defamation, implying that the right to defend/action any defamation claim (existing at the time of death) does not survive and cannot be passed on the heirs of the deceased individual. Section 306 of Indian Succession Act[22] does not talk about new claims or actions which arise after the death of a person, whereas Section 499 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860[23] states that “it may amount to defamation to impute anything to a deceased person, if the imputation would harm the reputation of that person if living, and is intended to be hurtful to the feelings of his family or other near relatives”.

While the Metropolitan Magistrate at Mazgaon has stated that Section 499 – Explanation 1 of the Indian Penal Code[24], applies to this case, the decision to “issue process” against the authors of the novel and the Producers, is not a determination of the matter on the merits of this case, and it remains to be seen whether the authors of the novel and the Producers are held to be guilty of defamation.

Conclusion:

While the Division Bench of the Madras High Court in the Dr. J. Jayalalitha case[25], relying on principle laid down in the legal maxim ‘actio personalis moritur cum persona’a personal right of action dies with the person, carved out that all three rights – personality right, reputation and privacy, enjoyed by a person during his lifetime, come to an end after his or her lifetime and cannot be inherited or enforced by such person’s heirs, Section 499 of the Indian Penal Code[26] leaves the door open for possible defamation of a deceased person if, anything that is attributed to such deceased person, would have harmed his reputation if he was alive and is intended to be hurtful to the feelings of his family or other near relatives. Thus, suggesting that, for an action for defamation of a deceased person, one should file a criminal action rather than a civil action, and for a criminal action of defamation in respect of a deceased person, the defamatory content must also hurt his family or near relatives.

These issues are still in a nascent stage, the law is developing and there is an urgent need to establish a clear distinction between privacy rights, publicity rights, and defamation, as the three cover separate rights and reliefs, given the rise in cases surrounding such subject matter.

In contrast to the law being developed by the Indian courts as discussed above, it is interesting to note the legislative intent of the lawmakers in India with respect to Section 57 of the Copyright Act, 2012[27], which states that the moral rights of an author[28] of a work[29] can be enforced by his/her legal representatives. This codified copyright law in India grants the rights to legal representatives to protect the honour and dignity of the author. Since personality rights are much like copyrights, i.e., rights which protect damage of economic nature, Section 57 helps strengthen the argument for enforcement of posthumous personality rights by the heirs/ legal representatives of a deceased individual.

There is a need for the Indian law to form a statutory distinction between privacy and personality rights owing to the glaring difference in the nature of the rights – privacy rights are constitutional rights which vest in individuals comparable to the right to life and liberty; on the other hand, personality/ publicity rights are rights of economic nature and like copyrights should be assignable to heirs or legal representatives.

As a final thought to leave the reader with: In the most recent case on this subject, Sushant Singh Rajput’s father has filed a plea in the Delhi High Court seeking to restrain anyone from using his son’s name or likeness in movies on the ground that any production, or depiction of the private life of Sushant Singh Rajput would be a blatant and willful breach of the fundamental right to privacy which cannot be taken away without the prior approval of his legal heir. Vast coverage of Sushant Singh Rajput’s death in the media has resulted in a lot of private details about his life being made public. And it would be interesting to note the Delhi High Court’s judgment in this matter, in terms of this discussion above, considering that the plea has been filed on the ground of breach of right to privacy and not violation of personality rights. Time will reveal whether the Delhi High Court aligns its decision with that of the Madras High Court or whether new jurisprudence is developed on this evolving subject.

[1] Justice K.S. Puttaswamy (Retd.) vs. Union of India & Ors., 2017 (10) SCC 1

[2] Dorothy Pomerantz, Michael Jackson Tops Forbes’ List of Top-Earning Dead Celebrities with $140 Million Haul, Forbes (Oct. 15, 2014), http://www.forbes.com/sites/dorothypomerantz/2014/10/15/michael-jackson-tops-forbes-list-of-top-earning-dead-celebrities/

[3] Deepa Jayakumar v. AL Vijay and ors., O.S.A.No.75 of 2020

[4] R.Rajagopal Vs. State of Tamil Nadu, 1994 SCC (6) 632.

[5] Ibid

[6] Vadlapadla Naga Vara Prasad v Chairperson, Central Board of Film Certification, Bharat Bhavan, Mumbai, Writ Petition No. 30376 of 2011.

[7] Section 306 in The Indian Succession Act, 1925: Demands and rights of action of or against deceased survive to and against executor or administrator—All demands whatsoever and all rights to prosecute or defend any action or special proceeding existing in favour of or against a person at the time of his decease, survive to and against his executors or administrators; except causes of action for defamation, assault, as defined in the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (45 of 1860) or other personal injuries not causing the death of the party; and except also cases where, after the death of the party, the relief sought could not be enjoyed or granting it would be nugatory.

[8] Rule 1 of Order XXII of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908: No abatement by party’s death if right to sue survives – The death of a plaintiff or defendant shall not cause the suit to abate if the right to sue survives

[9] Justice K.S. Puttaswamy (Retd.) vs. Union of India & Ors, Supra Note 15

[10] Managing Director, Makkal Tholai Thodarpu Kuzhumam Limited Vs. Mrs.V.Muthulakshmi, 2007 (6) MLJ 1152

[11] Melepurath Sankunni Ezhuthassan Vs. Thekittil Geopalankutty Nair, 1986 (1) SCC 118

[12] Section 306 in The Indian Succession Act, 1925: Supra Note 6.

[13] Rule 1 of Order XXII of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908: Supra Note 7.

[14] S. Rangarajan vs. Jagjivan Ram, 1989 (2) SCC 574

[15] Babuji Shah vs. Bhansali Productions & ors., C.C. No. 6900483/ SS/ 2021.

[16] Section 500 in The Indian Penal Code: Punishment for defamation—Whoever defames another shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

[17] Section 501 in The Indian Penal Code: Printing or engraving matter known to be defamatory—Whoev­er prints or engraves any matter, knowing or having good reason to believe that such matter is defamatory of any person, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

[18] Section 502 in The Indian Penal Code: Sale of printed or engraved substance containing defamatory matter—Whoever sells or offers for sale any printed or engraved substance containing defamatory matter, knowing that it contains such matter, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

[19] N.S. Veerabhadraiah V/s. Aroon Purie and Ors., Reported in MANU/TN/2304/2010.

[20] Section 306 in The Indian Succession Act, 1925, Supra Note 6.

[21] Ibid

[22] Ibid

[23] Section 499 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860: Whoever, by words either spoken or intended to be read, or by signs or by visible representations, makes or publishes any imputation concerning any person intending to harm, or knowing or having reason to believe that such imputation will harm, the reputation of such person, is said, except in the cases hereinafter excepted, to defame that person.

Explanation 1—It may amount to defamation to impute anything to a deceased person, if the imputation would harm the reputation of that person if living and is intended to be hurtful to the feelings of his family or other near relatives.

[24] Ibid

[25] Ibid

[26] Section 499 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, Supra Note 22.

[27] Section 57 of the Copyright Act, 2012 – Author’s special rights— (1) Independently of the author’s copyright and even after the assignment either wholly or partially of the said copyright, the author of a work shall have the right— (a) to claim authorship of the work; and (b) to restrain or claim damages in respect of any distortion, mutilation, modification or other act in relation to the said work if such distortion, mutilation, modification or other act would be prejudicial to his honour or reputation.

(2) The right conferred upon an author of a work by sub-section (1), may be exercised by the legal representatives of the author.

[28] According to Section 2 (d) of the Copyright Act, 2012, “author” means, — (i) in relation to a literary or dramatic work, the author of the work; (ii) in relation to a musical work, the composer; (iii) in relation to an artistic work other than a photograph, the artist; (iv) in relation to a photograph, the person taking the photograph; (v) in relation to a cinematograph film or sound recording, the producer; and (vi) in relation to any literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work which is computer-generated, the person who causes the work to be created.

[29] According to Section 2 (y) of the Copyright Act, 2012, “work” means any of the following works, namely — (i) a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work; (ii) a cinematograph film; (iii) a sound recording.

Authors:

Meghana Chandorkar, Partner

An Alumnus of ILS Law College, Pune, Meghana has 12 years of experience as an Intellectual Property and Media & Entertainment lawyer.

After graduating in 2009, she has worked with the intellectual property teams of leading law firms, with a strong focus on trademark and copyright law, as an in-house counsel for a music company, and for a broadcast, media, and entertainment company.

Working with law firms in the initial half of her career has helped her create and develop a strong base of legal knowledge and, working in-house has been instrumental in giving her an insider’s perspective, to better understand client requirements, from a business and commercial point of view, and to provide specific, appropriate and well-rounded legal advice, draft and structure agreements and minimize risks, keeping in mind the business requirements.

While working as an in-house counsel, she was selected for, and has completed, a certificate program, in 2018, called the ‘Young Leader Development Program’ from MICA, Ahmedabad, designed specifically to develop young leaders across business and corporate functions, to tackle real-time problems and put forth innovative business solutions.

Her core areas of expertise include structuring, drafting, and negotiating agreements, and providing advice and opinions, pertaining to the creation, maintenance, protection, acquisition, and exploitation of intellectual property rights. She is skilled in copyright, media and entertainment, broadcast, trademark, and contract law, and she has been recognized as a professional whose advice is valued in providing creative legal solutions and advice to clients.

Anushree Yewale, Principal Associate

Anushree Yewale has over 6 years of work experience in the media and entertainment sector. Prior to joining TMT Law Practice, Anushree has worked with a boutique intellectual property rights law firm. She has provided end-to-end support to numerous production houses, broadcasting companies, talent management agencies, and independent artists, provided transactional and advisory related services for content creation and content exploitation across various modes, media. and formats, structured, negotiated and implemented complex transactions involving S&P compliance for scripts, development and production of audio-visual content, distribution, and acquisition of audio-visual content, merchandising deals, film licensing and assignment deals and other ancillary transactions, negotiated sponsorship and endorsement contracts including celebrity licensing, cleared advertising for use in online and off-line media, and handled product placement and media productions.

Riddhi Tulshian, Associate

Riddhi Tulshian has around 2 years of work experience in the intellectual property and media & entertainment industry. She earned the degree of B.B.A. LL.B (Hons.) in 2019 from SVKM’s NMIMS Kirit P Mehta School of Law with a specialization in Business Laws. She joined TMT Law Practice in May 2019. She specializes in strategizing IPR transactions and has worked with production houses, OTT platforms and radio broadcasters, has worked on production and distribution deals, rendered legal assistance in acquisition of film and format rights, service agreements, licensing agreements and technology related to intellectual property as well as e -commerce, advised on copyright related transactions including script & content clearances, due diligence for ascertaining IP ownership and advising, structuring and negotiates deals on transactions for production, distribution and licensing. She is enthusiastic about and looks forward to working in the fields of technology and privacy law.

    Work With Us

    Resume/CV