Experts Call for Comprehensive Reforms in Piracy Laws

SONIPAT, India, August 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --

-  O.P. Jindal Global University Hosts Roundtable on 'Piracy and its Impact on the Film Industry'

- While Piracy Keeps on Damaging Creative Communities, There's no one Single Body to Prevent Piracy in India, say Experts

- Roundtable Organized as a First Step to Collectively Create a Position Paper That Will Help Draft Legislature to Engage With law Makers and Government in a More Rigorous Manner

Jindal Global Law School (JGLS) and Centre for Intellectual Property and Technology Law (CIPTEL) at O.P. Jindal Global University organized and hosted a roundtable discussion on 'Piracy and its Impact on the Film Industry'. This was a first-of-its-kind attempt where academicians, strategic decision makers, actors, producers, politicians, and industry stakeholders came together to deliberate the issue.

     (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160802/394881 )

In his welcome address, Prof. (Dr.) C Raj Kumar, Vice Chancellor, O.P. Jindal Global University said that a systematic and institutionalized form of piracy had engulfed the world of innovation and creativity.

Prof. Kumar highlighted the need for larger engagement with policy makers and said, "Today change is possible through concerted action in a sustained manner. In India, big issues have been addressed through collective consciousness and people coming together to address these issues. Todays' effort is a similar one. "

Prof. Kumar also emphasized that there was a need to elevate the discourse from just the revenue impact of piracy as a problem to a larger social impact in relation to issues surrounding dishonesty and integrity.

Chief Guest, Actor Suriya spoke of how as an actor and producer he has experienced the pain of piracy taking away his rightful revenues and how if left unattended, the impact of piracy is going to multiply many fold.

Sharing figures from a FICCI report, he pointed out that as against the industry size of 13, 820 crores the piracy industry size is 18, 000 crore. He said, "It is alarming that the piracy industry in size is larger than the film industry."

Speaking about digital cinema Suriya highlighted, "Digital cinema is a boon to the film industry but also the pirates. With the advent of high-end mobile phones, huge Internet penetration, digital cameras and hand-held camcorders it has become easy for pirates to shoot with the support of hall owners in most cases and distribute instantaneously to 1000's of sites."

He further shared examples of films like 'Kabali', 'Udta Punjab', 'Great Grand Masti' and 'Sultan' which have lost a lot of revenues due to digital piracy. He added, "'Sultan' earned 300 crore with 2.5%.of the population viewing it in theatres, while estimates indicated that over 7 crore people would have watched it through links, drives and mobiles."

The actor appealed for collective action and said, "We require a strategy and all stake holders need to come together. The state, judiciary, industry and the consumers need to join hands to fight this battle against piracy."

Mr. Arpan Banerjee, Asst. Professor, JGLS & Executive Director, CIPTEL said, "One of the problems with the whole discourse about copyright is that it is cased under the umbrella of intellectual property which is a very wide. Reporting in media or parliamentary discussions are dominated by discussions on pharmaceutical patents and prices, thus ignoring the issue of piracy under copyright law."

Speaking on the impact of technology, Ms. Lohita Sujith, Director, Corporate Communications, Motion Picture Associations (India Office) said, "We need to be connected in a safe world and information needs to flow but in a safe manner. The biggest impact for us has been rogue websites which have illegitimate content and there is a complete underground economy."

"As Indians, let's try to inculcate honesty in whatever we do including judicious use of technology to curb piracy," was the pledge that Mr. George Baker, Actor and Member of Parliament, BJP, raised at the Round Table.

Mr. Surender Mann, Senior VP, Star India shared his perspective on the impact of Piracy in Indian Television Industry. He said, "The absence of strict and definitive laws is the main reason for the proliferation of piracy, especially in the TV industry."

On the other hand, Prof Shiv Visvanathan, Professor and Vice Dean, JGLS presented a somewhat different point of view highlighting the socio-economic context and dimensions of piracy. He tried to look at the problem from the grassroots level saying that piracy may be the livelihood for a person selling those CDs or DVDs.

Sharing his valuable insights on the problems faced by policymakers on a pan-India level and underlining the global best practices such as creating a baseline survey and signing treaties for protection of IP, Dr Narendra Sabharwal, Convener, National IPR Think Tank noted, "Awareness has to be built for intellectual property to catalyze the knowledge economy and result in an innovative ecosystem."

Dr Ashwini Kumar, Former Director, CBI and Former Governor, Nagaland threw light of the origin of piracy and copyright infringement and noted, "The accused could be highly organized criminals or common people but the law needs to be strict for both ends."

Mr. KTS Tulsi, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India and MP, Rajya Sabha shared the Singapore experience which has managed to retain the levels of retail piracy. Commenting on the judicial system he observed, "The PIL route in the Indian judicial system is extremely unfortunate and acts as a hindrance sometimes."

Mr. Bharat Kapoor, COO, Strategic IP Information gave an insightful presentation on 'Online Piracy Tracking' He pointed out that for online piracy, some of the supporters are payment processors, ISPs and digital advertisement agencies and explained the functional policy of 'veri-site' to protect customers against online piracy.

Mr. Rajkumar Akella, Honorary Chairman, Governing Council, Anti-Video Piracy Cell, Telegu Film Chamber of Commerce highlighted the fact that a great amount of piracy is syndicated. He spoke at length about the inception, genesis and subsequent success story of Telengana IP Crimes Unit (TIPCU). "The structured approach of TIPCU in collaboration with the industry has helped us figure out the hubs of piracy; now, no film is being pirated in Tamil Nadu for at least two weeks of the release date," said Akella proudly.

Other notable speakers at the conference included Mr. Lavin Hirani, Head (Legal), Red Chillies Entertainment, Mr. Ritesh Khosla, Senior Vice President Legal, Sony Pictures Networks, Mr. Rajasekhar Kapoorsundarapandian, Director and Co-producer, 2D entertainment, Mr. G Dhanjayan, Producer & Founder, BOFTA Film Institute, and Mr. K E Ganvel Raja, Producer, Studio Green.

All speakers present during the day-long round table reflected on the current status of piracy in the film industry and how infringement of copyrights has become an open threat towards its development. The participants also agreed that the key recommendations and outcomes from this roundtable should be published and disseminated to gain attention from the government bodies, with superstar Suriya at the forefront as the brand ambassador.

Prof. C. Raj Kumar in his concluding statement said, "The purpose today is to collectively create a position paper that will help us draft legislature and better engage with law makers and government in a more rigorous manner."

About O.P. Jindal Global University 

JGU is a non-profit global university established by the Haryana Private Universities (Second Amendment) Act, 2009. JGU is established in memory of Mr. O.P. Jindal as a philanthropic initiative of Mr. Naveen Jindal, the Founding Chancellor. The University Grants Commission has accorded its recognition to O.P. Jindal Global University. The vision of JGU is to promote global courses, global programmes, global curriculum, global research, global collaborations, and global interaction through a global faculty. JGU is situated on a 80-acre state-of-the art residential campus in the National Capital Region of Delhi.

Media Contact:
Kakul Rizvi
krizvi@jgu.edu.in
+91-8396907273
Additional Director
O.P. Jindal Global University

SOURCE O.P. Jindal Global University



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