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Viacom18 & govt announce anti-piracy partnership

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NEW DELHI: In a step highlighting seriousness of stakeholders, Viacom18 has forged a partnership with the Cell for IPR Promotion and Management or CIPAM, a professional body under the Commerce Ministry, to launch an anti-piracy awareness campaign laying stress on the importance of IPRs.

“A possible solution to the problem of piracy lies in creating awareness about intellectual property rights (IPRs) among the masses. It is pertinent that one of the main objectives enshrined in the national IPR policy is creating awareness about IPRs to build a healthy IP ecosystem in the country,” Commerce Ministry’s Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) joint secretary Rajiv Aggarwal said.

Aggarwal, speaking on the partnership that was announced during an ongoing three-day national workshop on enforcement of IPRs, lauded the industry’s contribution in taking a lead to rally around the cause of IPR protection.

According to Viacom 18 Media group general counsel and company secretary Sujeet Jain, “When it comes to consumption and circulation of pirated content, there is limited knowledge about its economic and social impact. Through this partnership with CIPAM, we hope to raise awareness amongst youth and children about the perils of piracy and the need for the protection of IPRs.”

Content piracy, especially online, is a menace that has started to cause serious dent to revenues of content owners and also the Indian government in terms of taxes. And, it is high time that the industry and the government collaborated on a war-footing to create awareness about IPRs and anti-piracy measures being undertaken.

As part of the association with CIPAM, Viacom18 has created a behavior change awareness videos, involving popular animated characters of its flagship kids’ channel Nickelodeon and Sonic (Motu-Patlu and Shiva, respectively), spreading the message that content piracy was equivalent to stealing.

The campaign will see CIPAM and Viacom18 airing these videos across schools, colleges and various educational institutions, in addition to the network’s kids channels.

Because IPRs are increasingly becoming crucial drivers of social and economic growth in the 21st century DIPP has organized a meet here, which was inaugurated by Home Minister Rajnath Singh in the presence of Minister of Commerce Nirmala Sitharaman and Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju. Sessions on various aspects of IPR, its protection, existing laws and anti-piracy measures are scheduled to be discussed by industry and government representatives.

Singh said that counterfeiting and piracy activities give rise to serious organized crimes and police officials should be equipped with proper knowledge and training so as to curb and restrain IPR breaches.  

The workshop is designed to help police officials and prosecutors to understand their role in effective enforcement of IPRs. It will also provide an opportunity to the officials to share their experiences, exchange best practices and coordinate effectively with each other.

Sitharaman, while emphasizing that people need to understand  ways to create and protect their intellectual property for a secure future, said the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), in collaboration with CIPAM, was setting up two technology and innovation support centres  in Punjab and Tamil Nadu.

Meanwhile, a statement from Viacom18 added that it was not the first time that Viacom18 was championing the cause of IPR protection. Earlier this year, along with the Bombay High Court, the media group conducted a crack-down on counterfeit merchandise of their licensed character Dora the Explorer.

This initiative was primarily targeted to protect children from hazards of using inferior quality products under the impression of them being original Viacom18 merchandise. The company, which also owns film production unit Viacom18 Motion Pictures, had previously led a campaign against film piracy too.

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