Piracy: Bigwigs offer differing opinions



Piracy in the Film Industry is something that SpicyIP has written about extensively. (A search for it on the blog will show at least 25-40 posts on the matter- most recently posted here). And just when we thought the breast-beating was over and done, well known faces from the field have stepped up to voice their opinions on the matter.

Not surprisingly, on one side we have bigwigs asserting their copyright and condemning piracy. Calling it the biggest threat, director and phenomenal actor Aamir Khan and acclaimed producer Ashok Amritraj have both stated the lack of proper mechanisms in place and need to check the same being of primary importance.

However, in a refreshing take on the matter, Shekhar Kapur on his own blog has had a thing or two to say about IP rights in various fields including his own. In a manner very similar to most of those protesting IP rights on movies or anti-piracy drives for the same, Mr. Kapur wonders the only motivation for the creation of several products is purely profit driven.

He comes up with a solution that some might consider radical- and extremely intriguing. He uses a newly released movie as the focus of the scenario, and suggests that the video maker ask for protection of intellectual property for a week maybe. After that “allow the video to be downloaded free, so that he/she gets a huge following for the next video“. Seems improbable, but maybe extreme solutions may be the right way to go.

This brings back a memory from a conference conducted by the Movie Producers’ Association at NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad about a year ago. The conference that turned into a hot debate where several students, while not undermining the rights protection a movie producer may have in a movie, questioned the need for such highly priced CDs and DVDs for movies.

In an opinion (personal, which many may not agree with), there are ways and means by which a IP rights for all right holders may be strengthened. However, increasing prices and an over-aggressive enforcement mechanism may only push consumers toward freeloading. There must be a balance that must be struck if IP rights are to be honoured. It is not an impossible task. It just probably takes a little bit of radical thought. Like Mr. Kapur.

SpicyIP urges readers to take a look at Mr. Kapur’s post for several other interesting perspectives he has on the matter of piracy in general.

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