Regulators

Film piracy: Govt has no 'losses' figure, industry estimates Rs 180 bn a yr

NEW DELHI: Even as the government said that no definite data was available on losses owing to piracy “if any”, the film industry had said in mid-2016 that the Indian film industry was losing $ 2.7 billion (Rs 180 billion) every year.

Minister of state for information and broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore told the Parliament that the government ‘is aware that there are instances of piracy of films but these are subject matters of investigation by concerned investigating agencies of the respective state governments based on complaints by the concerned filmmakers’.

The Copyright Act 1957 as amended in 2012 provides Civil Remedies [Chapter XII (Section 54-62)] as well as Criminal Remedies [Chapter XIII (Section 63-70)] to the Copyright holder and clause (c) of subsection (1) of Section 52 of the Copyright Act, 1957 read with the Rule 75 of the Copyright Rules, 2013 are the provisions of the Act which deal with piracy of films, he said.

The loss due to piracy is said to be 35 per cent more than the $2 billion from legitimate sources such as screening at theatres, home videos and TV rights earned by the film industry which is the largest globally with some 1,000 movies produced each year.

Motion Picture Distributors’ Association (India) MD Uday Singh had said in mid-2016 that content theft or piracy in the film industry originates from ‘camcording’ in cinema halls. Over 90 per cent of new release titles originate from cinemas. He claimed that the Indian film industry loses over 60,000 jobs every year because of piracy.

The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) also quoted these figures of loss due to piracy quoting noted filmmaker Anurag Basu. While the Indian film industry is, indeed, flourishing, piracy points toward how much more its stakeholders can make, he said.

Meanwhile, the KPMG in India-FICCI Report on Media and Entertainment presented at the FICCI FRAMES earlier this month said films grew at a crawling pace of three per cent in 2016.

The segment was impacted by decline in core revenue streams of domestic theatricals and satellite rights, augmented by poor box office performance of Bollywood and Tamil films.

Expansion of overseas markets, increase of depth in regional content and rise in acquisitions of digital content byover-the-top platforms are expected to be the future growth drivers that would help the segment bounce back at a forecasted CAGR of 7.7 per cent.

However, factors such as dwindling screen count and inconsistent content quality could prove to be limiting factors.

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