I&B ministry & FICCI to work towards ending piracy menace

NEW DELHI: The government today said that it has taken several steps to curb piracy, which is resulting in heavy losses for the entertainment industry. Information and broadcasting minister Jaipal Reddy informed the Rajya Sabha (Upper House) in a written statement that the ministry is consulting Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) to explore the possibility of enacting an optical disc law.


However, sources in the government added the I&B ministry is hamstrung by the fact that the issue of piracy technically falls under the human resources development ministry and I&B can only influence the menace indirectly.


According to FICCI, the revenue loss from film piracy is about Rs 12 billion annually. As far as the music Industry is concerned, the Indian Music Industry (IMI) has informed that the size of the music industry has fallen from Rs 10 billion in 1999 to Rs 5 billion in 2004 due to piracy. Listed here are some of the steps that I&B ministry has taken, amongst others, to curb piracy:

    The I&B Ministry has requested Chief Secretaries of all States to advise District Magistrates and Superintendents of Police to include anti piracy measures in their monthly activity reports.

    In the meeting of 25th State Information Ministers, piracy emerged as a key concern for most State Governments and some measures were considered in order to deter piracy in the film and music industry.

    This Ministry has also made suggestions for restricting incidence of piracy in the film and music sector while considering the on-going amendments to the Copyright Act.

    The National Film Development Corp Ltd. has been commissioned to make spots for running an anti-piracy campaign on prominent national and satellite channels. This Ministry has requested industry associations to persuade films stars to work on this campaign in order to make it an effective one.

    This Ministry has a Plan Scheme to undertake activities relating to anti-piracy measures.

    The Ministry has initiated action to formulate appropriate training modules for police officers to train them for anti-piracy.

    Recognising that high levels of entertainment tax lead to piracy, the Committee for Development of the Entertainment Sector, a sub-committee of the 24th State Information Ministers? Conference (Simcon) , recommended that the rate of entertainment tax be lowered to a ceiling of 45 per cent. In the recent SImcon it was felt that the ceiling should be further lowered to 25-30 per cent.

    The same Committee also recommended appointment of senior police officers in States to work in coordination with the entertainment industry, as nodal officers.

    The Public Service Broadcasting Trust has been entrusted with the task of making a film on piracy.

    The Cable Television Networks Regulation Act has been amended to prohibit a cable operator from transmitting or re-transmitting any programme or channel for which the copyright holder has not granted him a licence.

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