Indian producers losing $170 million to piracy

    MUMBAI: Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) chairman and CEO Dan Glickman highlighted the growing cooperation between Bollywood and Hollywood as examples of how the creative economies of the US and India can work together in the future.

    According to Glickman, the biggest competitor to both Hollywood and Bollywood in India, and the biggest danger to their cooperative efforts, was piracy. He added that the film industry lost an estimated $186 million to piracy in India and over $170 million of that loss was incurred by Indian film producers.

    In his address to more than 100 Indian CEOs at a session organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in New Delhi, Glickman said, “Hollywood studios recognise that cultural relevance is the key to the success of the Indian film industry.”

    He went on to cite numerous examples of how Hollywood studios are now entering into partnerships with local Indian studios to make and distribute Indian films and noted, “It is key that Bollywood and Hollywood join hands to fight their biggest common enemy and their biggest common competitor, movie piracy.”

    This session followed on from Glickman’s attendance at a roundtable earlier in the day as part of the Fortune Global Forum.

    A comprehensive study aimed at producing a more accurate picture of the impact that piracy has on the film industry including, for the first time, losses due to internet piracy, recently calculated that the MPA studios lost $6.1 billion to worldwide piracy in 2005. About $2.4 billion was lost to bootlegging, $1.4 billion to illegal copying and $2.3 billion to Internet piracy. Of the $6.1 billion in lost revenue to the studios, approximate $1.2 billion came from piracy across the Asia-Pacific region, while piracy in the US accounted for $1.3 billion.

    In 2006, the MPA’s operations in the Asia-Pacific region investigated more than 30,000 cases of piracy and assisted law enforcement officials in conducting nearly 12,400 raids. These activities resulted in the seizure of more than 35 million illegal optical discs, 50 factory optical disc production lines and 4,482 optical disc burners, as well as the initiation of more than 11,000 legal actions.