The US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) hosted a roundtable discussion on “Piracy Prevention: New Media, New Challenges” in partnership with the Government of India’s Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM) under the Department of Industrial Promotion & Policy (DIPP). The roundtable brought diverse stakeholders from the Indian and U.S. governments, along with private sector and civil society, to discuss global best practices and respective roles and responsibilities towards combating piracy in India.
The Media and Entertainment (M&E) sector in India is expected to cross USD 31 billion by 2020 growing at a CAGR of 11.6 percent. The roundtable topic was timely as digital media has emerged as a major catalyst for this growth. Availability of high-speed internet accompanied with the rapidly decreasing price of data, while transforming the M&E industry has also led to new and innovative forms of piracy. India is among the top five countries for peer-to-peer (P2P) downloads, with over 965 million P2P downloads between January 2017 and May 2018. Despite strong statutory protections afforded to original literary, musical and artistic works in India, gaps in enforcement capacity often render the anti-piracy framework inefficacious.
The transnational nature of piracy also limits the scope of domestic legislation. Websites thriving on pirated Indian content span across servers based in countries like the U.S., Canada, Panama and Pakistan. Moreover, federal enforcement challenges persist domestically too. While some state-police has dedicated IP crime cells, most states are yet to prioritise policing of cybercrime. The perception of piracy being a victimless crime adds another layer of complexity to anti-piracy discourse in India. The ecosystem solutions need to be intrinsically multi-dimensional and multi-stakeholder in nature and could include adoption of common minimum programmes, building supply chain capacities, and setting up dynamic interface with enforcement agencies.
The roundtable today focused on global best practices, access to international copyright treaties, content monetisation and price sensitivity, among others. Roundtable participants included prominent industry leaders including Netflix, Disney, Yashraj Films, Dharma Productions, among others.
USISPF President & CEO, Dr. Mukesh Aghi asserted, “USISPF believes that it is critical to support the government’s efforts in combatting piracy, especially at a time when the changing face of technology will lead to new innovative ways of content theft. The objective of today’s roundtable was to have an informed discussion on how industry can partner with government on this growing challenge.”
Mr. Brijesh Singh, Secretary & Director General, Information and Public Relations, GoM and Special Inspector General of Police, Cyber, Maharashtra State was of the view, “Maharashtra has been at the forefront of driving focussed and coordinated efforts for looking at home security as well as piracy issues in a more wholistic manner. Greater coordination is required between industry and law enforcement agencies to be able to effectively support each other in dealing with the menace of piracy.”
Mr. Kaustubh Dhavse, Joint Secretary and Officer on Special Duty to Hon’ble Chief Minister of Maharashtra said, “Maharashtra is at the heart of the Indian media and entertainment industry and our economy has greatly benefited from innovation and independent content creation. The Government of Maharashtra takes the threat of piracy very seriously, and we are delighted to see USISPF stepping up its efforts to support our endeavours.”
Netflix Spokesperson, Matt Andrews who was a part of the roundtable discussion said, “Piracy is a threat to content creators around the globe. Netflix collaborates with 30 other entertainment companies to fight this industry problem through ACE, the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment. Tackling the growing piracy problem in India is a priority and this summit is a great opportunity to collaborate with law enforcement, government, and local industry to find the right solutions to the piracy problems India is facing.”
While promoting trade is an important part of the USISPF’s work, the organization focuses on promoting job creation, inclusion, start-ups, innovation, and education. USISPF works to create the most powerful strategic relationship between U.S. and India and believes this goal can be achieved by business and government coming together to create meaningful opportunities that have the power to change the lives of citizens.
As champions of the U.S.-India commercial and strategic partnership, we believe there is an unprecedented opportunity for business communities in both countries to play a larger role in the next chapter of this important bilateral-partnership. USISPF is uniquely suited to work together with leaders in the U.S. and India to achieve our shared goals.
Headquartered in Washington D.C., USISPF has offices in New York, Silicon Valley, Mumbai and New Delhi.
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