Online piracy in India a global problem

6:45 AM PST 12/15/2009 by Patrick Frater, AP

India ranks fourth among English-speaking nations for piracy

HONG KONG – Online film piracy in India is a global-level problem, according to two new reports published by The Motion Picture Distributors Association (India).
 
Although the country’s digital infrastructure falls a long way behind many other countries, a report by Internet company DtecNet placed India in the top 10 countries for illegal peer-to-peer activities. The other, by Internet company Envisional, ranked India fourth after the U.S., U.K. and Canada. Relative to the number of broadband subscribers, India has the highest level of online film piracy of any English-speaking country.
 
In its Internet Piracy landscape report, Envisional found that online piracy of film and television content in India is mainly through the file-sharing network BitTorrent and cyberlockers, or Web-based file hosts such as RapidShare or HotFile. Video streaming sites are also popular, though their usage is lower than BitTorrent and cyberlockers.
 
According to Envisional, for P2P swarms built around a sample of Hollywood films, 6.5% of the world’s illegal users had Indian IP addresses. Also, Indians make up 11.8% of visitors to the top 10 cyberlocker link sites, which collate and index pirated content held on cyberlockers.
 
Hindi films are the most widely available domestic Indian content. The recent film “Kaminey” is estimated to have been downloaded just over 350,000 times on BitTorrent, with around two-thirds of those downloaders located in India.
 
“There is a danger that as the Internet infrastructure in the country continues to grow at a fast rate, it will serve to power a community of Internet users who will view piracy as an activity without consequence and who will engage in such activity with ease,” Hindi film producer Mahesh Bhatt said in a statement.
 
“The numbers the surveys have come up with just underpin our constant refrain – that the economic and social impact of online piracy is enormous and will have even greater long-term implications if not addressed,” said Mike Ellis, president and Asia-Pacific MD of the Motion Picture Association of America.
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