USIBC presses anti-piracy, co-production at FICCI

MUMBAI: The U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC), representing over 250 of the largest US companies investing in India, joined by global Indian companies, promoting economic reforms with an aim to deepen trade relations and broaden commercial ties, is participating in the FICCI FRAMES conference.
Working with the 26 US companies represented at FICCI Frames, the USIBC advocated for changes to the television regulatory environment, particularly in terms of price freezes and caps, downlinking regulations and compulsory licensing measures that have hurt the economic viability of the television network in India.
US and Indian industries view the elimination of piracy and counterfeiting as key to the growth of the entertainment industry. The USIBC and FICCI have inaugurated a “Bollywood-Hollywood Initiative” that concentrates on intellectual property. The USIBC will sponsor a study to show how much money and how many jobs India’s film industry is losing due to piracy. USIBC’s Director and Counsel Greg Kalbaugh says, “Piracy hurts everyone. The job loss is enormous, and it has a devastating impact on the Indian Government’s tax revenue.”
“An economically sound Indian entertainment industry has to be built on market-based principles. Regulation is important, but it should not stifle creativity or opportunity. This applies to both Indian and American companies,” said USIBC president Ron Somers.
The US-India Business Council (USIBC) has also joined hands with Hyperion Pictures and its CEO Tom Wilhite for a case study presentation on the new film Marigold, which stars Salman Khan.
Presented at the FICCI FRAMES conference, the study focuses on Marigold as one of the first of a new generation of US – India films co-produced by US and Indian companies. The film also stars US actress Ali Larter and will open in Hindi in India and in English internationally. Reliance ADAG Group’s Adlabs Films is co-producing the film.
American attorney Robert Jesuele of Los Angeles office of USIBC member company Hogan & Hartson explained that legal considerations were not a barrier to US-India co-productions. From his experience in film contracts and production, Jesuele showed how compatible US and Indian legal regimes could be for producing mutual benefit to film companies from both places.