Piracy and counterfeiting are growing and deprived the Indian entertainment industry of some $4 billion (Rs16,240 crore), or almost 40% of potential annual revenues, as well as around 820,000 jobs, according to the first Bollywood-Hollywood collaborative study to be unveiled this week at the Ficci Frames conference.
Industry officials in both the US and India hope to use the study’s findings to call for stricter legislation and tougher policing of the grey market, part of a joint attack on piracy.
Losses to the industry from the trade in illegal CDs, DVDs, music downloads and cable television account for 38% of total potential sales, or $4 billion, an increase from the 25-30% leakage estimated in the prior year period, according to a joint report by the US-India Business Council (USIBC) and the US Chamber’s Global Intellectual Property Centre.
REVENUE EROSION (Graphic)
EMPLOYMENT SUFFERS (Graphic)
It is to be unveiled at the annual Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) Frames conference on Thursday.
In an exclusive telephone interview with Mint discussing the findings ahead of a formal release, which was carried out by Ernst and Young (E&Y), business council’s president Ron Summers described the losses as “massive” and said the study’s seemingly large numbers of losses had been “conservative”.
“This is not a leaking bucket,” said Summers. “This is a huge gaping hole in a bucket that should be filling and not emptying. We need to work collectively and collaboratively to stop this scourge. It’s a rupture to the collective economy.”
Titled The Effects of Piracy and Counterfeiting on India’s Entertainment Industry, the report argues that efforts to curb piracy in India’s $11 billion entertainment industry have been hampered by the lack of a cohesive strategy.
“The industry has not been able to put together any holistic common programme to fight piracy on a proactive basis along with the consumers, judiciary and policymakers,” concludes the report.
“Further, the industry suffers from the lack of a united anti-piracy effort across industry segments.”
The report calls for “a robust legal ecosystem” from the state, including the adoption of optical disc legislation to protect intellectual property rights. “Right now, it’s mostly a slap on the wrist,” says Summers, of the punishment meted out to offenders. “The government needs to increase penalties and levy jail terms. And corporations need to raise their voices in unison.”
Acknowledging that the battle against piracy is constantly shifting with the Internet as the new frontier, Summers said piracy is still being handled in its traditional form and that mechanisms were needed to combat online theft with a goal of leakage below 10%. He added that the best way to do this was by sharing international best practice.
This article was published in the Mint 24 March 2008. Please read the original article here.