The US-India Business Council (USIBC) has released a new study showing huge job and revenue losses to the Indian economy as a result of piracy in the domestic entertainment industry. The study titled ‘The effects of counterfeiting and piracy on India’s entertainment industry’ has been prepared by Ernst & Young India for USIBC and shows that as much as Rs 16,000 crore are lost each year due to piracy. Not just that a whopping 8.2 lakh direct jobs are also lost due to this menace along with theft in the entertainment industry.
Commenting on this study on Day 3 of FICCI Frames 2008, USIBC President Ron Somers, said, “This study estimates that the Indian entertainment industry loses some 820,000 jobs and about $4 billion annually to the piracy menace. This is an unacceptable loss by any measure.”
The study was commissioned as part of the USIBC-FICCI-Bollywood-Hollywood initiative. The study covers film, music, television and videos and has been funded by the Global Intellectual Property Centre of the US Chamber of Commerce, which aims to show the value of intellectual property as well as highlight the adverse impacts that theft and piracy have on creativity and innovation. “The Bollywood-Hollywood initiative promotes our sustainable growth and convergence underway between the entertainment industries in both our countries,” Somers said.
Speaking on the occasion, FICCI Secretary-General Amit Mitra pointed out, “This study conclusively shows the urgent need to stop the affliction called piracy. So, fighting piracy is where all our collective efforts must start.”
Mitra went on to add, “The domestic media and entertainment industry is an industry of the future, having already contributed over $11 billion annually to the GDP and growing at a CGAR of over 18 per cent. If we can stop piracy, this industry will grow even faster and provide employment to more people.”
Yash Chopra, noted filmmaker and Chairman of the FICCI Entertainment Committee, too remarked, “The film industry has been incurring huge losses due to piracy since 1979.”
According to noted producer and director Ramesh Sippy, “Without the help of the Government, the industry can’t do much to stop this menace. When we released ‘Sholay’, there was no piracy as it was one of the greatest films. The Government should come out with legal measures to control piracy.”
In his concluding remarks, Somers said that the study was only the beginning. “Now that we have documented the huge revenue and job losses to piracy, we intend to continue fighting this across the board. We will strive to bring these findings to the attention of the common man in this country. We strongly support recent legislation on optical discs that will thwart piracy in this industry,” he added.