Digital Release Can Stop Film Piracy:GOI

Government of India has decided not to favour the recommendations of the draft optical disk policy on combating piracy as the suggestions by industry would lead to the creation of a regime of inspectors that would go against the grain of the policy of liberalization, Asha Swarup, Secretary, Union Ministry of Information & Broadcasting while addressing the inaugural session of FICCI-FRAMES 2008 said.

Ms. Swarup, while acknowledging that the menace of piracy in the entertainment and media industry was huge, said the problem had to be tackled by closing the supply side gaps. A possible way, she said, was to release films and ‘C’ and ‘D’ class towns on digtial formats.

To the concern expressed on piracy and banning of films, she pointed out that it was unfortunate that recent films like ‘Jodha Akbar’ and ‘Aaa Jaa Nach Le’ have met with this fate after having been cleared by the Censor Board of India. “The I & B Ministry, in consultation with the Ministry of Home Affairs, will see how best we can tackle the issue,” she assured the delegates.

Ms. Swarup expressed satisfaction on Pakistani films were being released in India and Indian films like ‘Taare Zamin Par’ were getting an entry into Pakistan.

She hoped that with a new democratic government in place in Pakistan, the situation will further improve and more Indian films would be screened in that country.

The Secretary emphasized the need for development of content for TV viewers, especially for children. Currently, TV content was focused on just a small section of the viewers, she said, and called for innovative content for all sections of the viewers.

Over 2500 Indian and foreign delegates from 17 countries are attending the three-day FICCI-FRAMES 2008. Foreign representation is from Australia, Canada, France Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Italy, Malaysia, Pakistan, South Africa, Thailand, UAE, the UK, USA, Korea, Switzerland, and New Zealand.

With nearly 30 sessions on topical themes, FRAMES 2008 seeks to capture the essence of where the industry is positioned today and show the way forward. The topics being discussed include: Changing face of TV news, Resurgence of the language media, Developing animation content, New age technology and emerging production pipelines in animation, Raising capital, Linguistic diversity in Indian cinema, Radio for the masses, Scope of international co-productions, Talent crunch in the industry, Film marketing & distribution, Importance of digital cinema, Animation, IP creation, protection and life cycle, Visual effects, Mobile entertainment, Sports as entertainment, and Revenue streams in multiplexes.

FRAMES 2008 unfolds against the backdrop of a 17% growth in the Indian Entertainment & Media (E&M) industry in 2007 over the previous year. The industry reached an estimated size of Rs. 513 billion (Rs. 51, 300 crore) in 2007, up from Rs. 438 billion in 2006. In the last four years 2004-2007, the industry recorded a cumulative growth of 19% on an overall basis, according to the FICCI- PwC Report on Indian Entertainment and Media Industry 2008.

The inaugural session was also addressed by Ms Viviane Reding, European Commissioner, Information Society & Media, European Commission; Stewart Beck, Assistant Deputy Minister, Investment, Innovation and Sectors, Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Canada; Mr. Dominique Dreyer, Ambassador of Switzerland to India; and Mr. Amit Khanna, Chairman, Reliance Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. And Chairman, FICCI Convergence Committee.

The inaugural session also saw the release of the FICCI-PwC Report on Indian Entertainment Industry and the FICCI Amarchand Mangaldas Law Book on legal aspects of the industry.

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