No new inspectors to checking movie, music piracy

March 25th, 2008 - 6:58 pm ICT by admin  


Mumbai, March 25 (IANS) The government does not want to set up another group of inspectors to check video and audio piracy as it would go against the policy of liberalisation, a top official said here Tuesday. The entertainment industry had asked for the creation of such a group in its draft optical disc policy on combating piracy.

But Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Asha Swarup said the problem had to be tackled differently - by closing supply side gaps.

Swarup was inaugurating the three-day Ficci-Frames forum meet.

While acknowledging that the menace of piracy in the entertainment and media industry was huge, Swarup said one of the possible means to tackle it would be to release films in ‘C’ and ‘D’ class towns on digital formats.

Referring to the problems faced by the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC), she said steps were being taken to enhance government equity participation in the organisation.

“The government may also provide it a composite fund to tide over its difficulties and finance movies which can project Indian art and culture in the world market, besides making socially relevant movies.”

She also said that the government was paying attention to the development of the animation sector and removing the hurdles coming in the way of its growth.

Swarup disclosed that the I&B ministry had already got a sanction from the finance ministry for Rs.200 million to fund the Films Division to help it make documentary and short movies.

While agreeing that the tax relief given to the entertainment industry in the union budget was not enough, she assured the representative of the film industry attending the session that her ministry would try to get the required relief for it.

Referring to the tussle between the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and the broadcasters, the official said the representative of both sides should meet and narrow down their differences about the broadcasting industry.

Over 2,500 Indian and foreign delegates from 17 countries are attending Ficci-Frames. Foreign representation is from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Italy, Malaysia, Pakistan, South Africa, Thailand, the UAE, Britain, the US, Switzerland, and New Zealand.

Setting the tone for the deliberations, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) president Rajeev Chandrasekhar said that the Rs.500-billion Indian entertainment and media industry was poised for an 18 percent growth this year.

“By the end of this year, the industry is expected to be worth Rs.530 billion. This shows the speed at which the entertainment and media sector is progressing of late,” Chandrasekhar pointed out.

He said the proactive media policies of the government provided fillip to the growth being witnessed by the industry.

“Unlike in the past, funds are no longer a problem to translate ideas into action as the buoyancy shown by the Indian entertainment industry has attracted funds from all over the world,” he said.

According to him, the entertainment sector needs to create content that is globally relevant in order to get a better share of the world market.

Swarup released a FICCI-PriceWaterhouseCoopers report on the industry for 2008-09. She also released a law book pertaining to the industry brought out by the law firm Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A. Shroff & Co.

Bollywood filmmaker Yash Chopra, European Union Commissioner Viviane Reding, Swiss envoy to India Dominique Dreyer, Canadian assistant deputy minister (investment) Stewart G. Beck, Sony Entertainment CEO Kunal Dasgupta and Reliance Entertainment chairman Amit Khanna also addressed the inaugural session of the meet.

The opening session was followed by one on ‘Blockbuster Growth: Indian Entertainment’.

Addressing the session, Timmy Kandhari, the executive director of PriceWaterhouseCoopers, said the entertainment sector in India was on a roll and the trend would continue for a decade.

“In three years from now, the media and entertainment sector of India would be worth Rs.1 trillion. We need to sustain this rate of growth,” he said.

INX group chairman Peter Mukherjea, Bollywood filmmaker Subhash Ghai and A.P. Parigi, managing director and CEO, ENIL, and director, Bennett, Coleman and Co, also deliberated on the theme.

Ficci Secretary General Amit Mitra conducted both sessions.

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