Film piracy funding terror in India: Moser Baer chief

November 24th, 2009 - 5:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, Nov 24 (IANS) The film piracy industry in India is worth Rs.1,500 crore and its profits are being used to fund terrorism in the country, a top official of CD-DVD manufacturer Moser Baer said Tuesday.
“The piracy industry in India is Rs.1,500 crore and much of it goes to funding terror,” Moser Baer India chief executive Harish Dayani told IANS.

Dayani, while attending a Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) conference here, said the US-based think-tank Rand Corp had warned in March this year that film pirates would fund terror activities in large scale in the future.

The CII conference on film finance attracted several people from the industry, who were in Panaji to attend the ongoing International Film Festival of India (IFFI).

The 40th edition of IFFI started here Monday and will screen nearly 300 films from almost 50 countries during the 11-day event.

Dayani said film pirates sold nearly 80 million DVDs each year in India.

“Rising piracy and the emergence of DVD technology have shrunk the average cost of movie viewing for an Indian family to Rs.3.”

Nearly 40 million families in India have access to DVD technology and film pirates sell nearly 80 million DVDs each year.

“The rate for each pirated DVD is Rs.25 and the cost of a raw DVD is a mere Rs.11 to Rs.12. Imagine the profits they are reaping in,” Dayani said, adding that Moser Baer was forced to come up with a “revolutionary pricing strategy” to popularise film CDs and DVDs in the face of piracy.

“When we first announced that we would sell movie CDs and DVDs for $1 some years ago, the US production houses scoffed at us. They were selling the same product for $20. But look at the scenario today. Walmart has started selling ‘Casino Royale’ DVDs for $2. Moser Baer’s pricing logic has worked,” Dayani said.

Piracy is weaning away around 50 lakh potential viewers from the movie theatres by giving them cheaper options, he added.

According to Dayani, the effect of piracy is three-pronged.

“First, it affects the flow of patrons to cinema halls. It cuts down on revenue coming in from home video. Piracy also drops TRP (television rating points) as far as cinema broadcast from satellite is concerned,” he said.

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