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Karnataka Congress uses a photograph of Akhil Iyer without consent for its “40% Sarkara” campaign, the actor to take legal action

The Photograph of Akhil Iyer that the Congress party used its poster without his permission was taken from the actor's Facebook page

Actor Akhil Iyer has said that he will be taking legal action against the Congress party for the unauthorised use of his photographs for a political campaign. The Karnataka-based actor posted the poster released by the Congress party in Karnataka in its ongoing ‘40% Sarkara’ campaign against the BJP government in the state.

Akhil Iyer posted on Twitter, “I am appalled to see that my face is being used illegally and without my consent for “40% Sarkara” – an @INCIndia campaign that i have nothing to do with.” He further added, “I will be taking legal action against this.”

Iyer also tagged the Twitter handles of Rahul Gandhi, Siddaramaiah and Karnataka Congress to look into the issue.

The poster with Akhil Iyer’s photo has the text “The gluttony of 40% Sarkara has robbed over 54,000 youths of a career’, and asked youths to sign-up for the campaign. It asked people to raise their voices against ‘BJP’s corruption in Karnataka’.

The Karnataka Congress launched the 40% Sarkara campaign against the Basavaraj Bommai government earlier this month alleging large-scale corruption in the state. Congress leader Siddaramaiah called the state government ‘40% sarkar’ filled with “looters and scamsters”.

The party has also launched a website, and asked people to register complaints about corruption. Apart from this, they have also launched a phone number 844 770 40 40 for people to call to inform about corruption.

The Photograph of Akhil Iyer that the Congress party used its poster without his permission was taken from the actor’s Facebook page, where it was uploaded in July 2014. The photograph was taken by Shankar Adisesh, and clearly, it is the property of the actor and the photographer.

The Congress poster and the original image of Akhil Iyer from his Facebook page

The photograph also has been used in the Actor’s Wikipedia page, and it is licensed under the Creative Commons-Attribution-Share on the Wikimedia Commons portal. Although Photographs and images uploaded on Wikimedia Commons can be used by others with proper attribution, such images must be the own work of the uploader. And here, it is clear that it is an unauthorised upload, as it has been uploaded by a user with the username Snehamenon87, and it has been claimed as ‘own work’. That is clearly incorrect, as the photo was taken by Shankar Adisesh. Although the actor and the photographer might not object to the use of the photo for the Wikipedia page of the actor himself, for other uses like commercial and political campaigns his consent is required.

This is the second controversy the 40% Sarkara campaign has faced. Yesterday, Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai ordered a probe after ‘PayCM’ posters had come up in Bengaluru. The posters put up by the Congress party are in the form of QR codes with an image of the CM incorporated in the code. The poster had the text ‘40% accepted here’, the word PayCM is written in the style of the Paytm logo, and scanning the QR takes the user to the website.

Later the municipal corporation lodged a complaint with the Bengaluru Police regarding the posters, after which FIRs were registered against unknown people for putting the PayCM posters. Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said that the objective of the Congress party’s campaign is to tarnish his and the state’s image.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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