FILM INDUSTRY LAUNCHES ANTI-PIRACY COALITION
MPAA Chief Dan Glickman Announces Historic Alliance between the Hindi and Hollywood Studios at FICCI Frames
Mumbai: An initiative to address piracy was jointly launched today at the FICCI Frames entertainment convention by Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) Chairman Dan Glickman, and leading Hindi studio executives such as Yash Chopra (Yash Raj Films), Mukesh Bhatt (Vishesh Films), Sanjeev Lamba (Reliance Big Entertainment), Harish Dayani (Moser Baer), Siddharth Roy Kapur (UTV), Ram Mirchandani (Eros International), and Sandeep Bhargava (Studio 18).
The newly formed coalition will target all forms of piracy both physical and online affecting India.
Thousands of Indian and foreign delegates as well as industry leaders from the entertainment industries attended FICCI Frames, which runs March 16 – 18 in Mumbai, India.
According to the US India Business Council/Ernst & Young 2008 report on “The Effects of Counterfeiting and Piracy on India’s Entertainment Industry,” 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 devastating effects of piracy, Harish Dayani of Moser Baer commented: “The Indian film industry and ‘Brand Bollywood’ are far too important to be destroyed by criminals. There needs to be a strong legislative and enforcement response in tackling the issue of copyright theft. The enormity of the theft is perhaps not being understood and the current state of affairs of the film business is largely due to large scale consumption of pirated DVDs.”
Producer Mukesh Bhatt 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.”
Rajiv Dalal of the Motion Picture Association’s India office noted: “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.”
Speaking to the damage caused by illegal camcording, Siddharth Roy Kapur 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.”
About the MPA: The Motion Picture Association (MPA) and Motion Picture Association International (MPA-I) represent the interests of major motion picture companies in the global marketplace. As part of this, it investigates and reports on activities infringing its member companies’ intellectual property rights, assists with the resulting criminal and civil litigation to protect their copyrights, and conducts education outreach programs to teach movie fans around the world about the harmful effects of piracy. These activities have helped to transform entire markets from pirate to legitimate, benefiting video distributors, retailers, and foreign and local filmmakers alike.
The organization’s worldwide anti-piracy operations are directed from its headquarters in Los Angeles, California and overseen at the regional and local market levels by teams located in Brussels (Europe, Middle East and Africa), São Paulo (Latin America), Montreal (Canada) and Singapore (Asia Pacific). Its member companies include: Paramount Pictures Corporation; Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.; Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation; Universal City Studios LLLP; The Walt Disney Studios; and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. For more information about the MPA, please visit www.mpa-i.org.About MPDA: The Motion Picture Dist. Association (India) Pvt. Ltd. (MPDA) is a wholly owned local office of the Motion Picture Association, and represents the interests of the American motion picture industry in India. MPDA works closely with local industry, government, law enforcement authorities and educational institutions to protect the film and television industry.