Hollywood, Bollywood seek to stamp out piracy together

April 17th, 2008 - 1:04 pm ICT by admin  

By Arun Kumar
Washington, April 17 (IANS) The American entertainment industry wants to join hands with India to eliminate counterfeiting and piracy that costs Bollywood an estimated loss of $4 billion and 800,000 direct jobs each year. Leading entertainment companies from Hollywood and Bollywood came together at an India super-session show organised by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) of America in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“Now that we’ve quantified the losses, we’re working with government and industry to eliminate counterfeiting and piracy at the source,” said Greg Kalbaugh, director and counsel at US India Business Council (USIBC), an advocacy group seeking to advance India-US commercial ties.

“The first step is supporting India’s adoption of sensible legislation which regulates the production of optical discs. That will have an immediate impact on the rates of counterfeiting and piracy,” he said.

“The Indian entertainment industry is growing at a combined annual rate of over 18 percent and companies at the NAB show have shown enormous interest in collaborating with India,” said Farokh T. Balsara, national sector leader, Media and Entertainment for Ernst & Young-India.

“The USIBC-FICCI Bollywood-Hollywood Initiative has raised expectations that the very real concerns over counterfeiting and piracy will be addressed, leading directly to the generation of additional jobs and revenue,” he said leading the session “India’s Entertainment Economy: From Emerging to Surging.”

Kalbaugh said: “Every time we discuss the Bollywood-Hollywood Initiative, additional stakeholders come out of the woodwork with their own story about how piracy and counterfeiting have impacted their business.”

“Las Vegas has been no different - I’ve been approached by content providers, distributors, producers, and financiers, all of whom have the same story: counterfeiting and piracy are killing our industry and it’s about time we banded together to put a stop to it.”

“The Hollywood-Bollywood Initiative has really touched a nerve, and companies in the US and India are lining up to offer their support,” said Kalbaugh.

The discussions the at the show were held in the backdrop of a USIBC study on ‘The Effects of Counterfeiting and Piracy on India’s Entertainment Industry’, commissioned as part of the USIBC-FICCI Bollywood-Hollywood Initiative.

The study, prepared for USIBC by Ernst & Young India, demonstrates that India’s burgeoning entertainment industry loses as much as 4 billion US dollars and 800,000 direct jobs each year due to counterfeiting and piracy.

The USIBC-FICCI Bollywood-Hollywood Initiative promotes the sustainable growth and convergence underway between the entertainment industries of the US and India.

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