Ban handycams? Experts bat for anti-piracy law, say Gujarat should lead the way

With a research finding Ahmedabad among the three hotbeds of piracy in the country, experts feel that Gujarat should take the lead in framing and implementing anti-piracy laws that would put a ban on using handycams to record films in theatres and multiplexes.

"Gujarat should set an example by implementing an anti-camcorder legislation. As is the case in other initiatives, once it is done, the entire nation will take note and follow in setting up their own stringent laws to curb the menace of piracy," said Ron Somers, president of US India Business Council while speaking at a seminar on Intellectual Property Rights organised as part of the Vibrant Gujarat summit.

While deliberating on the legal framework of Intellectual Property Rights, experts who took part in the seminar also discussed a research conducted by Ernst and Young, FICCI and Motion Pictures Association that mentions Ahmedabad along with Indore and Ghaziabad as the piracy hotbed in the country.

"The study also reveals that every year there is a direct losses of Rs 5000 crore due to piracy," Somers added.

G R Raghavender, Copyright Registrar, Ministry of Human Resource and Development, said if such a representation on anti-camcording provisions is received from Bollywood, it could be certainly communicated to the ministry.

Agreeing with these suggestions, Additional Chief Secretary (Science and Technology) Ravi Saxena said, "Piracy can be banned by putting a check on its source. The main source is camcording in cinema halls. Thus, it should be made a serious offence and everybody from cinema owners to ticket vendors should be penalised for this. Also, there is a need to create a social stigma for piracy."

On the changes that would take place once stringent laws are passed, Uday Singh, managing director of Motion Pictures Association said that in the states and countries that follow anti-piracy laws, there has been reduction in piracy. "There is direct reduction in sates like the Philippines, Japan, Hong Kong and Korea where such laws are passed and followed," he said.

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