Here’s more on Bollywood and piracy. We’ve had a lot written on this topic recently including Kruttika’s post on representations before the US Congress, Aamir Khan and remakes as well as my own tidbits on Krazzy 4 and the USIBC study.
There are two things I want to point out in this article. One is the link it makes between Bollywood, piracy and Indians abroad.
Film Federation of India Secretary Supran Sen says tens of thousands of people in these countries buy illegal DVDs of Hindi films. He says these are easily available in small retail stores, usually owned by Indians.
“There are certain pockets where we have a sizable population of Indians, but then there are no theatrical releases there,” Sen explained. “I do not know what is the reason. Those Indians would definitely like to see the films. So, in that scenario, they are bound to take certain films, certain cassettes which may not be legally released there.”
The Western markets have become so big that Bollywood film producers are basing some of their biggest blockbusters on Indians living overseas.
And second is an interesting quote from Mr. Chander Lall who represents the American Motion Picture Association in India about how Indian law and order agencies have finally started to view copyright infringement as more of a crime than an economic wrong.
“They have realized that copyright piracy has almost 800 percent profit margins,” Lall said. “So all elements who are indulging in heinous crimes are all now dealing with pirated software and pirating copyright works. So there is a change. The magistrates are getting more sensitive to the fact that this is a very serious crime. Police is getting sensitized to it. As the industry raises its voice it is being heard by different elements. So, it is changing, slowly but surely.”
But Bollywood wants faster change. It is asking authorities to create a separate police and judicial system to enforce copyright laws in India, because it says India’s judicial system moves too slowly to be effective.
Bollywood is the world’s most prolific film industry, producing more than 800 films every year. Its global audience is estimated at 3.5 billion people. But, is probably much larger, if the audiences for pirated movies are also taken into account.