Technology

India among top 5 nations in video piracy

NEW DELHI: Ninety per cent of the DVDs of films available in the market were the result of illegal camcording in theatres, and Ahmedabad, Ghaziabad and Indore appear to be primary markets for such illegal camcording.


Motion Pictures Distributors Association – India Managing Director Uday Singh told indiantelevision.com that India was among the five top nations in the world in terms of video piracy.


Singh said that the in the first nine months of this year, the Motion Pictures Association had identified 53 forensic matches to camcording incidents, a 77 per cent increase as compared to 2011 which had 30 camcording incidents for the same period. This figure accounts for 54 per cent of all forensic matches to the entire Asia-Pacific region during the first nine months of 2012.


Video camcords from India have been redistributed globally at least 32 times in 2012 alone, and paired with audio tracks in 12 different languages


A study conducted by MPDA (India) in 2009 had revealed that camcorded versions of Hindi titles hit the pirate market on an average of 2.15 days after the first legitimate theatrical showing in India. Countries in Asia -­Pacific such as Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia and Philippines had successfully included â€?Anti-Camcording‘ provisions as part of their legislation, thus reducing the number of camcording incidents significantly.


Singh was speaking after unveiling the anti-camcording DVD â€?Make A Difference 3‘ (MAD 3), in Hindi language at a roundtable to discuss â€?Content Theft at Source‘ organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry‘s Intellectual Property Rights (FICCI –IPR) division in association with the Information and Broadcasting Ministry and supported by MPDA-India organised to address the significant increase of camcording incidents in cinemas across India. MAD 3 is the latest training video produced by the MPA that provides guidelines to cinema staff on how to prevent illegal recordings.


He said the unauthorised recordings often appear online within hours or days of a movie release, triggering an avalanche of illegal downloads that can significantly impact a film‘s performance at the box office and throughout its distribution cycle. Content theft in India through camcording in cinemas has been significantly increasing over the past few years.


He said: "We urge the Government to include specific provisions for anti-camcord regulations in the draft Indian Cinematograph Act (2010) which will provide new law enforcement tools to combat this form of piracy. Countries such as Hong Kong, Malaysia and Japan are examples where anti-camcord legislation has significantly reduced the number of camcording incidents in cinemas."


When asked whether the lack of unity in the film fraternity or lack of implementation of laws resulted in such camcording, he said the Andhra Pradesh Film Chamber of Commerce had set a very good example by doing â€?spectacular‘ work which had heightened awareness and also checked persons indulging in such practices.


When it was put to him that one of the reasons for people buying such illegal DVDs was the fact that ticket rates were very high, he said taxation was a major problem and was as high as 38 per cent of every ticket. However, this was the only reason and the availability and access of such pirated material on websites or in retail stores was a major problem.


He said Courts could also act by issuing the John Doe order since one could not identify the pirates. (The term ‘John Doe Injunction‘ (or John Doe Order) is used UK to describe an injunction sought against someone whose identity is not known at the time it is issued:


The fact that 1200 theatres had gone digital also helped as camcorded copies could easily be identified, though it was not always easy to catch the culprits. He said the police was not coming forwarding to help in nabbing such culprits who indulged in camcording in cinema houses.


In the roundtable, FICCI ­ IPR Division Head Sheetal Chopra said, "We appreciate the efforts of Motion Picture Association (India) in bringing out MAD 3 DVD. We are confident, this video tool will help movie theatre owners to take suo moto preventive measures to control any illegal recording which might occur at the time of a movie screening, thereby bringing down the piracy level thus contributing in country‘s economy."


The roundtable discussion was attended by prominent Government and industry personalities including I&B Director (Films) Nirupama Kotru, Director and Registrar of Copyrights G R Raghavender, FICCI Director General Arbind Prasad, United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO Attorney Advisor Jennifer Ness, producer Mahesh Bhatt, APFCC Anti-Video Piracy Cell Chairman A. Rajkumar, Film Federation of India Secretary General Supran Sen, Alok Tandon of Inox Multiplex chain, Film and Television Producers Guild of India CEO Kulmeet Makkar, Big Cinemas COO Ashish Saxena, Cinepolis Head of Strategy Devang Sampat, Multiplex Association of India Vice President Deven Chachra, and filmmaker Ramesh Tekwani.


In his address, Bhatt said: "The Film industry needs to shed apathy and deal with piracy issues urgently. All stakeholders of the industry must partner with the Government on an ongoing basis to address this virus which gets deadlier day by day. As of now it is -Advantage Pirate."


"With content theft becoming a global menace it is imperative to educate theatre staff and movie going audiences about camcording in cinemas. We at Big Cinemas support the Make a Difference 3 training programme by MPDA (India) which has helped our staff to further understand security procedures and has helped deter camcording incidents in our cinemas", said Saksena.


"The Make A Difference 3 training video is a great tool to educate theatre staff about camcording in cinemas. We support and appreciate MPDA (India) for this initiative which will add value to our corporate training programme", said Cinemax multiplex chain COO Arpan Dutta.

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