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Copyright Force finally here to fight online piracy

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NEW DELHI: The Copyright Force is finally here to fight online content piracy, which has been bleeding the Indian content companies, from film, music and TV world, billions of rupees in revenues as pirates have been making hay.

It seems in co-ordinated movements by the Indian government and the industry, plans have been initiated to seriously fight the online piracy menace. While the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), under Commerce Ministry, earlier this week discussed the copyright and piracy issues with stakeholders, industry body FICCI sent out notes to stakeholders to be part of  Copyright Force, a unique cross-industry coalition.

Globally online piracy of content costs trillions of dollars that have prompted several industry organisations to focus specifically on arresting online piracy. According to Dubai-based GO-Gulf, there are $12.5 billion in economic losses each year due to piracy in the music industry alone; 71,060 jobs are lost in the United States every year due to piracy and $2.7 billion in workers’ earnings are lost each year due to online piracy. Interestingly, according to the research, India is ranked 5th (60 per cent) in the Top 10 countries with online piracy, while China tops the list with 91 per cent piracy.

The DIPP meeting of stakeholders, including producers from film and TV industry, was held to discuss issues related to copyright infringement and ways to tackle online piracy. The meeting, chaired DIPP joint secretary Rajiv Aggarwal, not only appreciated efforts being initiated by the Telangana Intellectual Property Crime Unit or TIPCU to curb piracy of copyright protected material, but expressed the need to adopt this model by other states also to check the menace within their respective jurisdiction.

Incidentally, TIPCU is a motivated version of Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU), funded by the Intellectual Property Office of the UK and run by the City of London Police with a special focus on offences committed online.

The industry initiative, helmed by FICCI, is on the lines of discussions at DIPP --- to facilitate exchange of global best practices, support platforms that encourage B2G and G2B dialogue and encourage initiatives to promote and protect copyright and possibly take action against offenders, along with law enforcement agencies.

While highlighting the need for a robust copyright eco-system and acknowledging the National IPR Policy was as a step in the right direction, FICCI outlined the objectives of the Copyright Force:

# Highlight vital role that copyright plays in fostering creativity and culture, stimulating investmentsand economic growth, while serving to enhance the competitiveness of industry and business

# Encourage innovation and improved consumer experience through legitimate content delivery platforms

#Address the challenge of piracy that undermines the growth potential of this sector.

The  Copyright Force, which  will bring together leaders in the fields of film, television, music, media, Internet, technology and OTT content delivery platforms, likely to have its first formal meeting sometime in January 2017. Some of the biggest broadcasting companies in India have been part of initial discussion on the formation of Copyright Force.

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