World – India ranks No 4 in online film and TV piracy: MPDA Report
MUMBAI: The Motion Picture Distributors Association (India) (MPDA) has released two internet piracy studies that go to say that copyright infringement online is a major problem in India.
The first report by Internet company DtecNet – based on tracking of downloading IP-addresses on P2P networks – showed that from April to September 2009, India was among the top 10 countries in the world with the largest number of illegal P2P activities.
Similar results were found by internet company Envisional. In its internet piracy landscape report, Envisional found that online piracy of film and television content in India was mainly carried out through the file-sharing network BitTorrent and cyber lockers or web-based file hosts such as RapidShare or HotFile. Video streaming sites are also popular, though their usage is lower than Bittorrent and cyber lockers.
The major international BitTorrent portals were heavily used by Indian downloaders. In addition, the number and popularity of a range of large Indian-focused BitTorrent trackers was extremely high.
Within a range of BitTorrent swarms for six MPA member studio films, 6.5 per cent of IP addresses located could be traced back to an Indian IP address. This placed the country as the fourth largest downloader after the US, Great Britain and Canada.
Hindi films are the most widely available domestic Indian content with most down loaders in Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai. The recent film Kaminey is estimated to have been downloaded just over 350,000 times on BitTorrent with around two thirds of those downloaders located in India.
“The numbers the surveys have come up with just underpin our constant refrain – that the economic and social impact of online piracy is enormous and will have even greater long-term implications if not addressed,” said MPA president and managing director, Asia-Pacific, Michael Ellis.
“We are only too aware that more needs to be done to help people understand that when they take unauthorised content off the internet, or pay next to nothing from a pirate street vendor, they are indulging in online theft and therefore damage the very movie-making community that has been bringing them decades of entertainment,” Ellis added.
Moreover, India is one of the largest users of cyber lockers in the world. On an average, 8.2 per cent of visitors to the top ten cyber lockers worldwide are located in India and the country makes up 11.8 per cent of visitors to the top ten cyber locker link sites which collate and index pirated content held on cyber lockers.
As broadband penetration is now accelerating in India, measures for stemming internet piracy should be considered or the numbers of subscribers involved in P2P file sharing in India are likely to grow exponentially in tandem with the country’s broadband growth, and are expected to pose even more significant risks to its domestic film industry as well.
Added MPDA (India) managing director Rajiv Dalal, “Around the world, film industries face the same problems. We need strong laws to support copyright, strong enforcement of those laws, stiff sentences for people who violate those laws, and most important, an understanding by ordinary citizens, the people who love movies, that buying pirated movies hurts the industry and makes it difficult for movie makers to make new films.”
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