MPA takes anti-piracy docu to Indian students


NEW DELHI -- The MPA said Thursday that it will distribute a 23-minute documentary on intellectual property rights to Indian university students.

The docu, "What's It to Me?: Creativity, Copyright and the People Who Care About Them (And Don't)," was unveiled at an event at the National Law Academy in the southern city of Hyderabad by MPA India legal counsel Chander Lal.

Also launched was an anti-piracy movie trailer in the southern Telegu language. The original Hindi version was released in June (HR 6/20).

"What's It to Me?" asked university students in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore for their views on intellectual property rights and intellectual property theft, while also asking copyright owners such as director Rakyesh Mehra (helmer of India's Oscar entry this year, "Rang De Basanti") and intellectual property rights experts for their perspectives.

The anti-piracy trailer is designed to raise awareness about piracy in the Telegu film industry, which produced more films last year than its Mumbai-based Bollywood counterpart.

"The 'What's It to Me?' documentary found that Indian university students have the same views on the subject as their peers in Japan, in New Zealand, in China and in the U.S.," said Mike Ellis, MPA senior vp and regional director of Asia Pacific. "Most interestingly, and perhaps unsurprisingly to most of us in the industry, (is that) for the most part they believe that downloading copyrighted content without paying for it is wrong ... but they do it anyway."

According to the MPA, its studio members lost $6.1 billion to worldwide piracy in 2005. Of that total, $1.2 billion came from piracy across the Asia-Pacific region, while piracy in the U.S. accounted for $1.3 billion.