Concerned by the increasing content theft in India through camcording in cinema halls, as well as the growing levels of piracy, multiple committees are mulling specific provisions for anti-camcord regulations in the Indian Cinematograph Act 2010.
A round table discussion was held on the issue by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry's Intellectual Property Rights (FICCI-IPR) division in association with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. It was organised by Motion Picture District Association (MPDA-India).
"We urge the government to include specific provisions for anti-camcord regulations in the draft Indian Cinematograph Act (2010), which will provide new law enforcement tools to combat this form of piracy," Uday Singh, managing director, MPDA (India), said in a statement.
"Countries such as Hong Kong, Malaysia and Japan are examples where anti-camcord legislation has significantly reduced the number of camcording incidents in cinemas," he added.
Over 90 percent of pirated movies of newly-released titles are said to have originated from unauthorised recordings made in cinema theatres. These recordings often appear online within hours or days of a movie's release, triggering an avalanche of illegal downloads that can significantly impact a film's performance at the box office and throughout its distribution cycle.
Veteran filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt also raised his voice on the issue.
"The film industry needs to shed apathy and deal with piracy issues urgently. All stakeholders of the industry must partner with the government on an ongoing basis to address this virus which gets deadlier day by day. As of now it is - Advantage Pirate," said Bhatt.
The discussion was attended by prominent government and industry members like Nirupama Kotru - director (Films), I & B Ministry, G.R. Raghavender - director and registrar of copyrights, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Arbind Prasad - director general, FICCI and Supran Sen - secretary general, Film Federation of India, among others. Representatives from multiplex chains were also present.
MPDA (India) also unveiled an anti-camcording DVD "Make A Difference 3" in Hindi. It is a training video which provides guidelines to cinema staff on how to prevent illegal recordings.