MUMBAI: The need for institutional mechanisms to ensure greater transparency and strong enforcement of the existing laws to boost the entertainment industry was underscored here today by legal and financial experts at FICCI FRAMES 2010.
The discussants were of the view that the increase in documentation, awareness of rights amongst people and adoption of international practices were positive steps towards adopting a new legal and financial framework for the industry.
KPMG executive director M&E Jehil Thakkar emphasized the pressing need for a financial framework for the industry in the wake of increasing activity like FDI flows, mergers and acquisitions, private equity deals in the entertainment sector.
Consultant Dina Dattani alluded to process of remake rights and getting rid of the tag of piracy and plagiarism that India was labeled with. She said that although India was increasingly becoming compliant with the global legislations, there was a need to open the doors to give remake rights and obtain picture licenses. Besides the obvious benefits of avoiding legal hassles, it would also lead to opportunities of greater funding. She also stressed on greater protection of rights.
MS&K partner Patricia Myer talked about the requirement for formal rights selling business model, which was quite a profitable model for the TV industry and the need for licensing of the remake rights. She welcomed the change of selling of rights of Bollywood films to Hollywood, which indicated greater acceptability of Indian films. For this trend to continue there was a need to ensure better legislative processes and resolving the problem of the change of titles.
Kaleidoscope Entertainment managing director Bobby Bedi, spoke about the changing financing model of the film industry in India, which had completely revamped the process of film making. With the film sector getting an industry status, corporates, banks and of-late many film studios were coming in. However, he emphasized that the growth of newer models of financing would overtake the traditional models only if the risks were covered through the creation of a robust and more stable financial framework.
YES Bank executive vice president & country head (media & entertainment, fine arts, luxury and sports banking) Karan Ahluwalia stressed on the rising appetite of the banking sector to lend to the media business. He said that there should be ideation in terms of newer products such as syndicated bank film financing structure. As mentioned in FICCI-KPMG Media & Entertainment Industry report, he pointed out that the adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) would lead to greater transparency and discipline which in turn would help acquiring more support from the banking sector.
On the adoption of international practices in India, Ashni Parekh, legal consultant, said that these would surely benefit India in the long run. She talked about the advantages arising out of the amendment to the Copyright Act, which was under way. While stressing the importance of enforcement, she underlined the importance of guilds and associations in protecting the rights of the stakeholders.