Govt against curbing piracy with policy
FICCI FRAMES 2008
BS Reporters / Mumbai March 26, 2008
In what is viewed as a setback for the film industry's efforts to stop
piracy, the government today rejected the recommendations of the draft
optical disk policy on grounds that it would lead to the creation of a
regime of inspectors, and thus go against the grain of the
For the past few months, the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting
has been examining the draft optical disc law to check film piracy.
As the draft legislation, which included a code of regulations for
content, is being prepared by FICCI and members of the film industry
with the initiative of the government, a positive response is
However, addressing the FICCI-Frames 2008 convention here today, Union
Ministry of Information & Broadcasting Secretary Asha Swarup made it
clear that the government was not in favour of implementing the
Acknowledging that the menace of piracy in the entertainment and media
industry was huge, she said the problem had to be tackled by closing
the gaps in the supply. "A possible way," she said, "is to release
films in 'C' and 'D' class towns in digital formats."
Swarup expressed her content with Pakistani films being released in
India and Indian films like Taare Zameen Par making an entry into
Pakistan. She said she hoped that with a new democratic government in
Pakistan, more Indian films would be screened there.
The secretary also emphasised the need to develop content for TV,
especially for children.
Meanwhile, the FICCI-PricewaterhouseCoopers 2008 report, released
today, estimates the industry at Rs 51,300 crore in 2007 - a growth of
17 per cent from Rs 43,800 crore in 2006. The Indian entertainment and
media industry is projected to clock Rs 1,15,000 crore by 2011.
In his address, Yash Chopra, chairman, FICCI Entertainment Committee &
Yash Raj Films, said that Indian cinema had transcended geographical
boundaries. However, he added: "Piracy, IP protection in the animation
segment and censorship are hurdles that the Indian media and
entertainment industry have to overcome."
Rajeev Chandrasekhar, MP and president of FICCI, pointed out that the
industry today had reached a point of critical mass. "I believe this
industry is poised to achieve the scale and size required to have
global value and presence," he said. The challenge for the industry
over the next few years, he said, was to become globally relevant to
the capital markets and investors; relevant to producers and consumers
of entertainment all over the world.
Kunal Dasgupta, co-chairman, FICCI Entertainment Committee & CEO Sony
Entertainment Television, said: "We are in talks with the Academy of
Television Arts and Science in the US, which represents the popular
Emmy Awards, and hopefully we will able to present an Indian version
of the popular Emmy Awards by next year."
Amit Khanna, chairman, Reliance Entertainment & FICCI Convergence
Committee, said new digital technology would reshape the distribution
and exhibition business.
"On-demand entertainment will become a standard industry norm," he said.
* * *
Piracy in India's Entertainment Industry Causes Huge Losses to Indian Economy
March 27, 2008 Mumbai, India – The U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC)
has released a new study showing huge job and revenue losses to the
Indian economy as a result of piracy in India's burgeoning
entertainment industry. The study– 'The Effects of Counterfeiting and
Piracy on India's Entertainment Industry'– prepared for USIBC by Ernst
&Young India, shows as much as Rs. 16,000 crores are lost each year
due to piracy. As many as 800,000 direct jobs are also lost as a
result of theft and piracy, afflicting India's entertainment industry.
Speaking at the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry
(FICCI) FRAMES 'Business of Entertainment' Conference, USIBC
President, Ron Somers, said, "This study estimates that the Indian
entertainment industry loses some 820,000 jobs and about $4 billion
each year to piracy. This is an enormous and unacceptable magnitude of
loss – by any measure."
The piracy study was commissioned as part of the USIBC-FICCI
Bollywood-Hollywood Initiative. "This study covers film, music,
television and video games and has been funded by the Global
Intellectual Property Center of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which
aims to highlight the value of intellectual property, as well as
illuminate the adverse impact theft and piracy have on creativity and
innovation. The Bollywood-Hollywood Initiative promotes the
sustainable growth and convergence underway between the entertainment
industries in both our countries."
Presented with a copy of the study, FICCI Secretary General, Dr. Amit
Mitra, said, "This study shows that the best way to make the boom in
the Indian entertainment bigger is to stop the affliction of piracy.
For the average Indian who wants to increase his or her chances for
being employed in Bollywood and associated industries, fighting piracy
is a place where all our collective efforts must start." Dr. Mitra
went on to point out, "The Media and Entertainment industry in India
is an industry of the future. India's entertainment industry already
generates more than $11 billion annually for the country, growing at a
combined annual rate of over 18%. If we can stop piracy, these
industries will grow even faster and employ more Indian workers."
Also present at the media briefing was Ramesh Sippy, famed producer
and director of the all-time number-one blockbuster 'Sholay'. Sippy
said, "I know first hand the importance of fighting piracy to support
the growth of Bollywood. I commend the USIBC-FICCI Initiative for
enlisting all elements of the entertainment industry against piracy."
Farokh T. Balsara, National Sector Leader, Media and Entertainment for
Ernst & Young-India, said, "Our Mumbai office collected data for this
study from on the ground – via direct interviews with stakeholders
from the Bollywood entertainment industry. We looked at the industry
from every angle – films, music, TV, radio, and electronic games. The
story was the same across the board: if we can slow or stop piracy, a
direct correlation in the generation of wealth and employment will be
Commenting on the USIBC-FICCI Bollywood-Hollywood Initiative, USIBC
President Ron Somers said, "This study is only the beginning. Now that
we have documented the job and revenue losses to the Indian
entertainment industry from piracy, we intend to continue fighting
piracy across the board. We will strive to bring these findings to
the attention of the average person in India. We will attempt to
enlist more effectively the U.S. and Indian governments to cooperate
in fighting the scourge of piracy in India, as well as in the U.S. and
worldwide. We strongly support passage by India of optical disc
legislation that will thwart piracy in this important industry. We are
pleased to stand shoulder to shoulder with counterparts in India to
help protect jobs and revenues that are now being needlessly lost to
Also previewed at FICCI FRAMES as a part of the Bollywood-Hollywood
Initiative was 'Illicit – The Dark Trade' – a special documentary that
airs world-wide, produced by National Geographic for the U.S. Chamber
of Commerce's Global Intellectual Property Center. This
made-for-television documentary shows that the problem of piracy is an
epidemic affecting many sectors of world-wide dimensions.
The U.S.-India Business Council, formed in 1975 at the request of the
Government of India and the U.S. Government to advance U.S.-India
commercial ties, is hosted under the aegis of the U.S. Chamber of
Commerce. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business
federation representing more than 3 million businesses and
organizations of every size, sector, and region. The U.S.-India
Business Council celebrates its 33rd Anniversary at the U.S. Chamber
of Commerce on June 12, 2008 in Washington, D.C.
Frederick 'FN' Noronha | Ym/Gmailtalk: fredericknoronha
Independent Journalist | +91(832)2409490 Cell 9970157402