You can’t kill a million flies with a hammer

MUMBAI: The session on intellectual property, piracy and the creative industries with the economic forum held much promise for the various industry stakeholders at FICCI FRAMES 2014 on the final day.

The panel anchored by NDTV editor Vishnu Som saw Government of India’s registrar of copyrights G R Raghavender, World Economic Forum’s Annie Luo, FIAPF director general Benoit Ginisty, Star India president & general counsel Deepak Jacob, Saikrishna & Associates’ managing partner Saikrishna Rajagopal and Copyright Integrity International’s Nandan Kamath give their views on the issue of piracy and how to avoid it.

The panel discussion kicked off with the Copyright Act of 1957 - the law safeguarding the creators of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works and producers of cinematograph films and sound recordings - and moved into how the rights need to be amended with the emergence of new mediums.

Star India president & general counsel Deepak Jacob rightly pointed out, “The copyright act needs to go through amendments keeping in mind the presence and emergence of new media. The act safeguards the key stakeholders of the industry from losing out on their IPs (intellectual properties) but the act is tilted towards a certain set of individuals or groups and not for all the stakeholders and that needs to change.”

Jacob also made a valid point when he said that if the IP is being used by someone and that individual wants to use it legally, whom should the royalties be paid to.

Government of India’s registrar of copyrights G R Raghavender said: “The Copyright Act has been put in place keeping in mind the benefit of all stakeholders and the rights clearly mention that it doesn’t consider future mediums under its purview.”

Saikrishna & Associates’ managing partner Saikrishna Rajagopal brought up the issue of torrentz and similar rogue websites that encourage piracy, but more disappointing is the fact that big brands can be seen advertising on such sites and generating revenue for them, more so encourage piracy. “I think it’s time to haul up these bigger players rather than chase a million flies with a hammer. We need to take a careful look at these payment gateways which are supporting piracy and encouraging this monstrous industry.”

The registrar of copyrights also mentioned that the government is doing a lot to prevent the act of piracy but there are shortcomings to this. Copyright Integrity International’s Nandan Kamath said: “Just sending a legal notice to pull down an illegal content is not a victory, but if we manage to get the IP holder his lost revenue from the pirate, that will be a victory.”

Kamat also mentioned that the industry needs to come together to end the illegal downloaders and pirates from gaining from someone else’s loss.

On an concluding note, Jacob made a strong statement when he said that it would be best suited if IP and piracy issues are dealt by the information and broadcasting ministry (MIB) or department of industry policy and promotion (DIPP) as they are more in tune with the needs of all the stakeholders suffering from piracy.

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