An initiative to address piracy was jointly launched at the FICCI Frames entertainment convention by Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) Chairman Dan Glickman, and Hindi studio executives including Yash Chopra (Yash Raj Films), Amit Khanna (Reliance Big Entertainment), Harish Dayani (Moser Baer), Siddharth Roy Kapoor (UTV), Sunil Lulla (Eros International) and Sandeep Bhargava (Studio 18).
According to the statement, the newly formed coalition will target all forms of physical and online piracy affecting India. The US India Business Council/Ernst & Young 2008 report on “The Effects of Counterfeiting and Piracy on India’s Entertainment Industry” states that the Indian film industry lost US $959 million and 571,896 jobs due to piracy. KPMG has also placed the film piracy rate at 60%.
Speaking about the effects of piracy, Harish Dayani of Moser Baer commented: “Piracy is not a victimless crime. The RAND report on Film Piracy, Organized Crime & Terrorism has clearly demonstrated that film piracy funds terrorist activity. As such, states need to take this menace seriously and place film piracy offenses under organized crime statutes like Maharashtra did in 2009.”
Amit Khanna of Reliance Big Entertainment further added: “Online copyright theft in India is growing rapidly. Two separate reports last year placed India in the top ten countries worldwide for P2P infringements. There is a community of Internet users who view piracy as an activity without consequence and who engage in piracy with ease within both domestic and international sites across a range of piracy methods. The government needs to sit down with rightsholders and find a solution to this menace.”
Yash Chopra of Yash Raj Films noted: “The Indian industry has come too far to let it be destroyed by criminals. There needs to be a strong legislative response in tackling the issue of copyright theft.”
Speaking to the damage caused by illegal camcording, Siddharth Roy Kapoor of UTV stated: “Nearly every Indian title is camcorded and available in pirate street markets on average two to three days after legitimate theatrical release. While the industry has come together to provide theater security and anti-camcord trainings, our efforts will be futile without the government passing anti-camcord legislation to hold perpetrators liable for this form of copyright theft.”
Giving the keynote speech, MPAA Chairman Dan Glickman remarked that he was pleased to not only launch the coalition, but also to witness the formal alliance of the two most prominent film industries in the world. “These last two years of Hindi co-productions, joint television ventures, shared distribution rights, joint ownership of technology companies – has all led to Indian and MPA member studios working in tandem. Such cooperation fosters conducive environments that allow movies like “Slumdog Millionaire” and “My Name is Khan” to achieve global box office success. And as successful as we have been or can be, we need to come together to overcome common obstacles to our joint success. That is why we are here today to announce the launch of this coalition. While piracy is damaging creative communities across the world, it need not be inevitable if we take steps to collectively address this problem.”
For more information visit: www.mpa-i.org