Hollywood, Bollywood in anti-piracy drive

Announced at FICCI-Frames industry conference in Mumbai

NEW DELHI -- The Motion Picture Association of America and leading representatives of the Indian film industry announced a joint anti-piracy coalition which will battle both online and physical piracy.

The coalition was announced Thursday, at the conclusion of the FICCI-Frames industry conference in Mumbai in the presence of MPAA chairman Dan Glickman and top executives from Indian studios such as Yash Chopra (chairman, Yash Raj Films), Mukesh Bhatt (CEO Vishesh Films), Sanjeev Lamba (CEO, Reliance Big Entertainment's Reliance Big Pictures), Harish Dayani (CEO Moser Baer), Siddharth Roy Kapur (CEO UTV Motion Pictures), Ram Mirchandani (Chief creative officer, Eros International), and Sandeep Bhargava (CEO Studio 18).

In his keynote, Glickman said: "These last two years of Hindi co-productions, joint television ventures, shared distribution rights, joint ownership of technology companies -- has all led to Indian and MPA member studios working in tandem. Such cooperation fosters conducive environments that allow movies like "Slumdog Millionaire" "My Name is Khan" (released by Fox Star Studios) to achieve global boxoffice success. And as successful as we have been or can be, we need to come together to overcome common obstacles to our joint success. That is why we are here today to announce the launch of this coalition. While piracy is damaging creative communities across the world, it need not be inevitable if we take steps to collectively address this problem."

According to the U.S. India Business Council/Ernst & Young 2008 report on "The Effects of Counterfeiting and Piracy on India's Entertainment Industry," the Indian film industry lost $959 million and 571,896 jobs due to piracy. KPMG has also placed the film piracy rate at 60%.

UTV's Kapur added: "Nearly every Indian title is camcorded and available in pirate street markets on average two to three days after legitimate theatrical release. While the industry has come together to provide theater security and anti-camcord trainings, our efforts will be futile without the government passing anti-camcord legislation to hold perpetrators liable for this form of copyright theft."