MPA seeks Delhi High Court protection


NEW DELHI -- The Motion Picture Assn.'s New Delhi-based legal counsel has filed an application with the High Court here seeking a blanket interim injunction for potential future cable piracy violations.

"We first filed an appeal in 2000 in the Delhi High Court requesting an injunction against cable piracy for MPA's existing films and especially for our members' future productions," MPA's India legal counsel Chander M. Lall said Tuesday. "The purpose was to streamline the legal process involved in filing separate cases every time there is a cable piracy violation."

In a judgment delivered May 15, the court agreed that an interim injunction can be granted for existing copyright material but such an injunction cannot be granted for forthcoming films since "the copyright in a film comes into existence only after the film has been produced and cause of action for any violation in respect of the said film would arise only thereafter."

But Lall said that the purpose of a blanket interim injunction to protect future films "is basically to speed up the legal process and reduce the burden on the courts which are already overflowing with various cases. If we have an interim injunction for future releases, it will be faster for us to initiate legal proceedings in any cable piracy violation."

Following the latest order, Lall said that a future course of action is still being decided. "We have the option of filing an appeal in the Supreme Court, which can clarify the matter either way," he said.

According to the MPA, studios lost $6.1 billion to worldwide piracy in 2005 with the Asia-Pacific region accounting for about $1.2 billion and piracy in the U.S. accounting for $1.3 billion.

In 2006, the MPA's operations in the Asia-Pacific region investigated more than 30,000 cases of piracy and assisted law enforcement officials in conducting nearly 12,400 raids that resulted in the initiation of more than 11,000 legal actions.