MPDA steps up on anti-piracy drive in India

MUMBAI: The Motion Picture Dist. Association (India), which is the local arm of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), is stepping up on anti-piracy initiatives across India.

Speaking to Businessofcinema.com, Motion Picture Dist. Association (India) managing director Rajiv Dalal says, "The launch of the Indian arm of MPAA reflects the coming together of Hollywood and Bollywood in this drive against piracy, which is eating into the revenues of the film industry in India and globally."

Dalal informs that the body is working with companies operating in the exhibition business to offer anti-camcorder recording training to the staff in order to curb piracy. "Apart from curbing camcording of movies in theatres, controlling Internet piracy is also high on the agenda of MPA in India. We are in the process of putting together a plan for the same."

According to the US India Business Council, Ernst & Young 2008 report on the effects of counterfeiting and piracy on India’s entertainment industry, the Indian film industry lost $959 million and 571,896 jobs due to piracy. Moreover, a recent KPMG study on Combating Counterfeiting and Grey Market found that 60 per cent of the movies that are sold are pirated.

Dalal adds that piracy has seen a 20 per cent jump over the years. The Motion Picture Dist. Association (India) will also be rolling out a campaign to combat piracy. One of them is the Make A Difference Campaign, wherein the general public will be made aware of piracy via award programs, posters and the media. Motion Picture Dist. Association (India) is also in talks with celebrities / actors, who can convey the message about piracy to the public. "A celebrity would be able to resonate with the population and hence the anti-piracy message delivered by them would have high impact."

The advent of digital cinema is also a major boon. "With digital cinema there is no worry about print theft. Digital cinema not only reduces the cost but also reduces piracy. It’s much easier to watermark and it makes the content secure," he adds.

In the last one year, the Motion Picture Dist. Association (India) has conducted approximately 400 anti-piracy raids and have about 3,500 piracy cases so far.

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