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LCO bodies, film producers moot revenue sharing via Cas to curtail piracy















NEW DELHI: A new revenue sharing issue cropped up today in private conversation between some prominent attendees at the Ficci seminar on piracy and IPR, and it is likely that bodies of cable operators and film producers might meet in Bombay to discuss this weekend or early next month.


The seminar had film actress Shabana Azmi as the chairperson and on the sidelines, Roop Sharma, president of the Cable Operators Federation of India proposed to Azmi that since there is such a lot of talk pirated films being shown, and LCOs being involved, why not develop a revenue sharing model through Cas and legitimise this so that there is clean money in it for all.


Azmi, chairperson of the government‘s Core Group on piracy, was hugely receptive of the idea and wanted immediate forward movement on it. She did not want to delay the process and said: "We should fix up the meetings now."

 

She said she would talk to concerned filmmaker bodies from Delhi over mobile so that the meeting could be organised this weekend, saying that everyone would be interested in this.


Azmi said she would see if someone from the Bollywood side could work out a revenue sharing model and also asked Sharma to do so.


On this Sharma suggested that since the model would be Cas-based, the model of revenue sharing proposed at the meeting could be taken to Trai and get it officially approved by the sector regulator, and Azmi said that would be appropriate.


Another prominent personality, Sushil Kumar Agrawal, managing director of the Ultra Group, also attending the seminar, said that he would help coordinate the meeting.


However, he pointed out that if the meeting does not take place by Saturday, then it would have to be pushed beyond this month with Maharashtra‘s state day holiday falling in between, so the meting could also be called in the first week of May.


V K Topa, advisor to Ficci and who deals with the IPR cell, also joined the meeting and Agrawal said that it would be better if Ficci convenes the meeting, for Ficci is organisation neutral and participation would be on a larger scale and without mutual suspicion.

 

Topa has said Ficci could easily do that and said he would take this up.


Sharma told indiantelevision.com that she was sure that everyone would join. "Revenue sharing through Cas means business growth on a clean path in an area where there has been always suspicion and mutual mudslinging between producers and LCOs.


She said she would coordinate with other LCO organisations apart from the one she heads.


But this would be operational in the tiny Cas universe of some 15 lakh HHs at the moment, so what about that?


Sharma said: "Cas is getting extended to 31 other cities and in any case, we have today just initiated the move and it will be six months or so before issues are resolved between all of us and a revenue model becomes accepted by all.


"By then Cas universe would have grown vastly to benefit the producers by ensuring meaningful scale of operations."

 

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