Comic on Internet piracy launched for schoolkids

May 24th, 2010 - 9:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, May 24 (IANS) A recently formed Bollywood-Hollywood anti-piracy coalition between the Motion Picture Distributors Association (MPDA) and Bollywood studios Monday launched here a comic book for schoolchildren about the dangers of online movie piracy.

“As the first building block of our brand-new educational initiative, we are targeting kids who are influenced by what they read and see. We hope that putting this in comic form makes the message more accessible, interesting and exciting to them,” said MPDA managing director Rajiv Dalal, in a statement.

“We look forward to working with the Ministry of Human Resource Development to extend this initiative and have this comic distributed to all school children across the country,” he added.

The comic titled “Escape From Terror Byte City” was unveiled by the Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra Chhagan Bhujbal; Maharashtra Home Minister R.R. Patil, and Mumbai Police Commissioner D. Sivanandan, at the inaugural session of ‘Cyber Safety Week’ here.

In the coming months, 10,000 comic books will be distributed in the metropolis to children aged five to 10 in schools, multiplexes and malls.

A local adaptation of a comic originally developed by the New Zealand Federation Against Copyright Theft, it tells the story of two boys who become trapped in a virtual city after downloading an unauthorised copy of a movie from a peer-to-peer filesharing site.

“This is an excellent initiative by the film industry to raise awareness of the dangers of online theft. The comic book was a success when we launched it in New Zealand last September and we are glad to see an adaptation being distributed in India,” said Mike Ellis, president and managing director of the Motion Picture Association, Asia Pacific.

The comic will be published in three languages - Hindi, Marathi and English. It has been endorsed by the Department of Information Technology, Mumbai Police, Data Security Council of India (DSCI) and the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM).

Indian studios too favoured the initiative.

“Internet piracy is becoming increasingly rampant among online audiences. We must begin to reach out to people across age brackets and social strata. School children are at an impressionable age and do not always know the distinction between legal and illegal. The comic book is a valuable step in educating them about online piracy,” said Prakash Nathan, vice president of UTV Motion Pictures.

Added Sanjay Tandon, vice president of Reliance Big Entertainment: “There’s no doubt that Internet piracy has hurt the film industry. It jeopardises the ability for a movie to make money and impacts the level of investment available for new films. Further, it is also important to remember that profits from piracy can be diverted to fund other illegal activities as well.”

MPDA works closely with local industry, government, law enforcement authorities and educational institutions to protect the film and television industry.

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.

Related Stories

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Entertainment |