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Motion Pictures Association cracks down on DVD rental outlets

24-October-2006
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Motion Pictures Association cracks down on DVD rental outlets

Motion Pictures Association of India has come down heavily on DVD rental outlets following a court order. The Association has undertaken frequent raids to curb outlets without proper licenses.

Latest among them has been a raid on Readsure outlet located at Lokhandwala, a suburb in Mumbai. The seizure included 1,164 DVDs without licenses. The titles were parallel imports not conforming to the piracy and censorship laws of the country. The raids have been conducted following the judgment by the Delhi High Court to curb DVD rentals from issuing DVDs copyrighted by the Motion Pictures Association.

Justice Reva Khetrapal, while passing orders restrained the rental library Cinema Paradiso from renting out any films copyrighted by Motion Picture Association (MPA) member companies, including Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc, Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc, Disney Enterprises, Inc, Paramount Pictures Corporation, Tristar Pictures, Inc, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Universal City Studios, LLP, New Line Productions, Inc and Orion Pictures Corporation.

Chander M Lall, Head of Operations and legal counsel for the MPA in India, said, “Although copyright law does not permit the unauthorised rental of films, rental libraries are functioning all over the country without licenses and without the authorisation of the copyright owners. This ruling by the High Court sends a strong message that India is committed to the protection of copyright and intellectual property, not only to the benefit of MPA member companies, but to the benefit of local filmmakers and everyone in the film industry in India.”

The development has resulted in many DVD rental outlets scurrying for permission from respective licensees. M N Kapasi, MD, Excel Home Videos (Licensee for Walt Disney, Twentieth Century Fox and others in India), said, “There has been a sudden growth in rental license applications from DVD rental outlets across the country. There is scarce knowledge among rental companies due to the lack of awareness of copyright laws. Due to this many innovations in rentals end up being on the wrong side of the law. We are happy plus ready to offer rental specific legal products and license support to whoever wanting to do rental business in India.”

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