India, UK to cooperate and jointly tackle piracy

NEW DELHI: The United Kingdom secretary of state for media, culture and sports Tessa Jowell, called on the Indian minister of state for information & broadcasting, Ravi Shankar Prasad here today and discussed various issues of mutual interest.

Both the ministers agreed to make a coordinated effort to meet the serious challenge of film and music piracy, which has posed a serious threat to the two industries.

I&B minister Prasad informed UK minister Jowell that amendments to the copyright act and an optical disc law are being considered; and as a first step to check piracy, the excise duty on pre-recorded CDs has been reduced. He also added that the rapid changes in technology make it very difficult to implement the law.

The ministers discussed the reciprocation in the field of film production and having a co-production agreement. Prasad said that his ministry would take all possible steps to remove any impediments in the production of films by British producers in India and vice versa.

He said the British film industry can draw upon the Indian professionals' capabilities in the field of IT and animation film production.

A lot of post-production and other works can be outsourced to India by British producers to cut on their costs. At present, India is exporting animation software worth over Rs 100 million US dollar annually. Similarly, Indian producers can benefit from the technological advancements in the field, he said.

Prasad appreciated the BBC help in the implementation of the AIDS awareness programme on Doordarshan, which has become very popular with the audiences. He added that the same is proposed to be extended for one more year. He also thanked BBC for helping DD for training a team of newscasters. He sought UK's cooperation in the distribution of DD programmes in UK for the benefit of Indian diaspora.

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