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Lex Witness Presents The 2nd Annual Edition of Media, Advertising & Entertainment Legal Summit

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Lex Witness- India's 1st Magazine on Legal and Corporate Affairs today hosted a well-conceptualized The 2nd Annual Edition of Media, Advertising & Entertainment Legal Summit (MAELS) 2013 at Hotel Le Mridien in New Delhi. The daylong summit saw over a 100 proficient industry veterans including media professionals, Law Firm partners and teams, In House Counsels and stakeholders engaging in an interactive discussion on increasing business complexities being faced by the Media, Advertising and Entertainment sectors rising due to changes in and regulations.

In an official message sent for the initiative;

Kapil Sibal, Honble Minister of Law and Justice, shared that the Indian Media, Advertising and Entertainment industry plays a pivotal role in India's economic growth through its magnificent channel of reach. However, the industry has been subject to various strides of regulations which affect the businesses and require discussions and debates to understand their impact. Further Mr. Kapil Sibal conveyed his greetings and best wishes for the success of the Summit.

With all the media and legal professionals under one roof, Mr. Amarjit Singh Chandhiok, Additional Solicitor General of India felicitated Dr. Lalit Bhasin, President, SILF; for his outstanding contributions to the legal industry of India. Mr. Bhasin is one of the most respected authorities on legal matters in India and has recently completed 50 years as a successful personality in the fraternity.

Over the past few years, the alignment of entertainment, information and telecommunication have increasingly affected India's Media, Advertising and Entertainment business. According to the latest CII-PwC Industry report, release on 13th Sept 2013, India's Entertainment & Media sector is expected to exceed INR 224,500 Cr growing at a CAGR of 18% from 2012 to 2017. However, despite of the growth patterns the M&E fraternity is witnessing various regulations and grey areas in the law revealing a different set of challenges to its members.

Lack of clarity on the practical and commercial implications of the amended Copyright Act 2012, absence of direction on the issue related to royalty, its payment and distribution has left all the industry in a state of perplexity. Also, the regulatory changes have made it difficult for the existing business ecosystems to sustain with Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's (TRAI) ad cap mandate, high carriage fees and below par subscription revenues. Furthermore, the process of regulation regarding content and over objectionable advertisement for TV, Radio and Internet too falls under grey area and has no apex body to monitor or dictate guidelines.

Speaking on the occasion, PBA Srinivasan, Editor-in-Chief, Lex Witness said, Though the Indian media and entertainment industry is eyeing robust growth, yet there are legal challenges affecting the big business. Areas like contract management and arbitration in media fraternity, Technological and IPR issues associated with entertainment and advertising sectors require special attention.

The summit gave a stage to all the panelists to share their expert viewpoints on implications of The Copyright Amendment Act 2012, its impact on business due to Royalty Payments, Change in Tax Laws, Business and Legal solutions for Performers, Authors, Producers, Broadcasters and Content Aggregators, Regulation of content and Advertisement Perspective and views from Regulators, Current challenges and issues, Proposed amendments to Cinematograph Act and impact, Carriage and Distribution Regulation Revenue squeeze with ad caps, Resolution on current differences between LCO, MSO & Broadcasters, Competition Act Implication for Media and Entertainment Industry, Contracts and Dispute Resolution, Arbitration Clauses and Industry Practices and other regulations passed.

The expert speaker's panel at MAELS 2013 included, Vir Sanghvi, Member, BCCC Shailesh Shah, Secretary General, IBF Nishith Desai, Founder & Managing Partner, Nishith Desai Associates Amarjit Singh Chandhiok, Additional Solicitor General of India, Supreme Court of India Vineet Magan, Regional Tax Manager, BBC Gowree Gokhale, Partner, Nishith Desai Associates Abhishek Malhotra, Partner, TMT Law Practice Avnindra Mohan, President (Legal & Regulatory), Zee Network Ajay Thomas, Registrar, LCIA India Amit Arora, Executive Vice President, IndiaCast Media Distribution Private Limited Narayan Ranjan, Chief Financial Officer, Viacom 18 Anil Lale, Associate Vice President Legal, Viacom 18 Lalit Bhasin, President, SILF Preet Dhupar, CEO, BBC Zameer Nathani, Head Legal, Balaji Telefilms Limited and Balaji Motion Pictures Limited Ayan Roy Chowdhury, Senior Manager Legal, Sony Entertainment Television Rajesh Simhan, Head International Tax Practice, Nishith Desai Associates Ashish Chandra, Head Media & Technology, Reliance Industries Rajiv Khattar, President Projects, Dish TV M.M. Sharma, Head-Competition Law and Policy, Vaish Associates Advocates Kunal Rajpal, AVP Legal & Secretarial, Viacom 18 Kaushik Moitra, Partner, TMT Law Practice

Commenting on the significance of the Summit, Shyam Grover, Group Editor & CEO, Lex Witness said, The Indian Media & Entertainment industry is essentially being driven by augmented digitization, growth of regional media and emergence of new media for content virality. But at each stage, the industry is facing challenges affecting their future growth. MAELS 2013 is our attempt to bring the thought leaders together to interact and confer on these issues and develop their legal and business response strategies.

The 2nd Annual MAELS 2013 initiative was supported by IBF as Principal Partner, SEPC as Official Summit Council, TMT Law Practice as Gold Partner, Nishith Desai Associates as Legal Partner, Vaish Associates Advocates as Associate Partner, Deepak Sabharwal & Associates as Kit Sponsor, Blackpen LCC as Litcom Partner DMAI, SILF, LCIA India, ICCA as Fraternity Partners, Ad Gully as digital Partner, Lawyers Club India as Online Media Partner and Indian Law Journal, Indian National Bar Association, NAI Press, IOD as Supporting Partners.

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