With over one billion people, India is one of the world’s largest markets for films; this includes both home grown “Bollywood” and Hollywood movies. However, both Hollywood and Bollywood complain that piracy, a phenomenon throughout Asia, is cutting into their earnings. Both lose millions of dollars a year due to lax enforcement of copyright laws in the country. Dan Glickman, Chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), at a recent Confederation of Indian Industry, said that the biggest competitor faced by both Hollywood and Bollywood was piracy.
He was of the opinion that the film industry was in dire need of strong laws and enforcement of these laws that supported copyright; stiffer penalties for violators as well as better understanding by the movie lovers that buying pirated movies destroyed the industry as well as hindered the movie makers from making new films. Glickman further stressed that what India really needed was technology, encouragement of the delivery of new services and public education, as these elements were essential to promote a better approach to fighting intellectual property theft.
In response to this, the MPA has created a ‘best practices’ roadmap that monitors university computer network usage as well as encouraged MPA member company executives to speak to university students in many countries about the importance of copyright. The MPA is also an author of a booklet that gives warning about the risks of peer-to-peer file sharing and this booklet is being distributed to young people all over the world.
What with the influence of a progressive on-demand world and greater consumer choice regarding the preference of audiences, moviemakers are under much pressure to produce compelling and entertaining quality type movies. Glickman added that the movie industry needed to keep up with and respond accordingly to the change that was taking place. Technology was a friend and not foe, offering opportunity rather than adversity.