Citizens' Issues
Indian films make USD 2 bn - but lose USD 2.7 bn to piracy
India's film industry, said to be the largest globally with some 1,000 movies produced each year, earns around $2 billion from legitimate sources such as screening at theatres, home videos and TV rights. But with $2.7 billion, piracy earns 35% more, and a way out has proved elusive.
 
Red Chillies Entertainment, a production house promoted by actor Shah Rukh Khan, was a victim of film piracy with 'Dilwale' last year. It grossed Rs148 crore at the box office, but its pirated version, circulated a day before its release, grossed a much higher amount, stakeholders said.
 
Recent films like 'Kabali', 'Great Grand Masti' and 'Udta Punjab' have all faced similar music.
 
"Content theft or piracy in the film industry originates from 'camcording' in cinema halls. Over 90% of new release titles originate from cinemas," said Uday Singh, Managing Director, Motion Picture Distributors' Association (India).
 
"The infringing copies appear online within few hours of a film release," Singh told IANS, and added: "The Indian film industry loses around Rs18,000 crore ($2.7 billion) and over 60,000 jobs every year because of piracy."
 
This figure is also what the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) brandishes in its magazine, 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.
 
According to the latest KPMG-Ficci report on the Indian media and entertainment sector, the film industry here is projected to grow from Rs138.2 billion ($2.09 billion) in 2015 to Rs 226.3 billion ($3.43 billion) by 2020 at an annual growth rate of 10.5%. But piracy could also grow exponentially unless checked.
 
"Currently, the government is focused on inclusive society initiatives, aimed at connecting villages via broadband. This has the potential to incentivise piracy, as people would find it much easier to watch a movie on their laptop than travel to far off theatres," the report said.
 
"Hence, there is need for a collective, structured, scientific, multi-pronged and proactive approach to combat piracy."
 
Adding another dimension, Patrick Kilbride, Executive Director for International IP with Global Intellectual Property Center of the US Chamber of Commerce, said piracy also limits the economic contribution which creativity can make in India.
 
"Issues such as copyright infringement, film piracy, camcording and content leakage weaken the industry by hampering the deserved revenue production," said Kilbride.
 
Stakeholders said some sophisticated technologies like the watermarking of prints, which allow producers or rights holders to monitor the usage and movement of each print across the globe, have also not been able to stop piracy.
 
"New technologies, including digitisation of film prints, have cut the cost of recording, storing and copying of films for distribution. Risks involved in leaking and piracy have also increased manifold," said Lavin Hirani, Head of Legal Affairs, Red Chillies Entertainment.
 
"Unfortunately, these technologies are not enough to protect the clandestine recording of pirated versions -- done 90% of the times with a camcorder or high-quality mobile camera in a low-light setting of a cinema theatre, or from the projector room," Hirani said.
 
There is also the recent prevalence of pirated versions of Indian films swarming the market and the Internet a day or two before their actual release, since distributors opt for a simultaneous global screening, which requires the dispatch of prints some 10-12 days in advance.
 
"Some territories like in the UAE, they release films a day prior to the Indian release date -- which is typically a Friday. This is one of the reasons why a film is leaked before its actual release," he added.
 
Rajkumar Akella, Chairman of the Anti Video Piracy Cell, Telugu Film Chamber of Commerce, echoed a similar line of thought.
 
"Earlier, one odd film would get accidentally leaked before release date. But these days, pre-release piracy leaks have become a recurring feature, which is very alarming for the industry," Akella told IANS.
 
What then is the solution?
 
Anurag Basu told WIPO that people need to understand piracy is a crime. The state blocks Web sites that allow downloads of pirated films, which is good. This apart, DVD versions must be available within a week or two after the formal release, as a wait of three-four months is a bit long.
 
"Piracy is working because people can buy a (pirated) DVD for Rs 100 and a whole family can watch it. We have to offer that kind of entertainment at that price. It has to be as easy to get an original DVD as it is to get a pirated one," he said.
 
Hirani said there's no single method or step. "Possible measures would require concerted efforts by all stakeholders, including the state and central governments which lose tremendous amount of money in taxes from the sale, distribution and exhibition of films."
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

Sanjeev Rajgarhia

9 months ago

Film industry has to become less greedy. They must price the cost of ticket reasonably to make the illegal downloading of movies by individuals unattractive.

Growth potential, savings support India's credit profile: Moody's
Global credit rating agency Moody's Investors Service on Monday said India's credit profile is supported by its strong growth potential, high private savings enabling access to funds for the government at favourable terms.
 
On the other hand Moody's said these credit strengths were balanced against high government debt -- 67.4% of gross domestic product -- regulatory and infrastructure constraints, slow pace of reform and the contingent liability risk to the sovereign from public sector banks' high and rising non-performing loans.
 
"Over the past year, external developments favourable to India such as lower global oil prices have combined with policy measures -- including tighter or less accommodative fiscal and monetary policies than in the past -- to move the economy towards a more stable macroeconomic development with smaller fiscal deficits, lower inflation and a narrower current account deficit," Moody's said in its annual credit analysis of India.
 
However, one short-term consequence of the policy setting, combined with two successive unfavourable monsoon last year and the year before, has been relatively moderate nominal GDP growth, the agency added.
 
Moody's expects corporates' profitability to remain muted which will continue to dampen their ability and willingness to invest in the next few quarters.
 
"We forecast real GDP growth at around 7.5% in the next two years. In nominal terms, we do not expect GDP growth to rise above 10% until FY2017," Moody's said.
 
According to Moody's, sustained fiscal consolidation, stable inflation at moderate levels and progress on reforms aimed at enhancing the business environment would contribute to sustained growth at robust levels.
 
In turn, persistent income and profit growth would raise government revenues and contribute to improved fiscal metrics.
 
While India has institutional strength of checks and balances there are offsetting weaknesses like an uncertain regulatory environment, corruption, a slow-moving judicial system and, in general, inefficiencies in the delivery of government services.
 
Moody's said political fragmentation leads to slow and ad-hoc progress on reforms. Progress on land and labour reforms, when it has occurred has been limited and gradual.
 
According to Moody's India's Susceptibility to Event Risk is driven by banking sector risk.
 
As banks continue to recognise bad assets, non-performing loans will rise further, particularly for public sector banks, albeit at a slower pace than at the end of 2015.
 
The focus on bad asset recognition and provisioning in the banking system as well as the recent passage of a new bankruptcy bill would be credit positive from a sovereign perspective, if it led to improved bank capitalisation levels, renewed loan growth and robust risk processes, Moody's said.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Urjit Patel is the new governor of RBI
The government on Saturday appointed eminent economist, consultant and banker Dr Urjit Patel as new governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). He will replace Dr Raghuram Rajan. 
 
Dr Patel was Deputy Governor of RBI looking after monetary policy, economic policy research, statistics and information management, deposit insurance, communication and right to information. 
 
On 11 January 2013, Dr Patel was appointed as Deputy Governor of RBI for a period of three years. He took over charge of the vital Monetary Policy Department, succeeding Subir Gokarn to the post.
 
Dr Patel obtained his BA from the London School of Economics [LSE, University of London], M Phil degree from Oxford University in 1986. He received his doctorate in Economics from Yale University in 1990. He joined International Monetary Fund (IMF) as a Kenyan citizen. He was at IMF India desk during the 1991-1994 transition period. He was posted to IMF country mission in India 1992-1995. He has also been a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution since 2009.
 

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COMMENTS

MG Warrier

9 months ago

The decision to appoint Urjit Patel as 24th RBI Governor will be welcomed by all including the outgoing Governor Dr Raghuram Rajan, who was visibly concerned during recent weeks, about unfinished work he would be leaving for his successor. As Patel was associated with most of the policy pushes Rajan initiated, there is no immediate risk of a diversion under pressure from any quarters.
Though 3 years is too short a period, the history of RBI for the current period, when it is written, will have a lot to cover under ‘Rajan Era’. Here, there is an advantage arising from Dr Rajan’s innocence and outspokenness (which, in a way cut short his stay at Mint Road!) for those who will be recording the history. They do not have to wait for Rajan to write his memoirs. They can as well scan the speeches made and interviews given by him during the three years.
One regret. GOI has again gone by a wrong template while appointing RBI Governor. The appointment this time should have been for 5 years’ tenure in the first place. Of course, it would be tough to ignore political pressures at every stage.
In a lighter vein, one is tempted to console Subramanian Swamy that his accusation that Dr Rajan did not study economics at undergraduate level has been taken into account in making a choice as Urjit Patel went for higher studies after graduation in economics!
M G Warrier, Mumbai

Ashok Visvanathan

9 months ago

Is Urjit Patel also a green card holder ?

REPLY

Suketu Shah

In Reply to Ashok Visvanathan 9 months ago

mainly is he prodigy of PC like American Rajan was?

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