Piracy is a threat that shakes the music industry to its core. When people share music illegally, artistes don’t get paid for their work. If left unchecked, many talented artists would not be able to afford to create the music that people love so much.
In India, music piracy levels have hovered around 65 per cent, meaning that those who create new content are not compensated for their efforts in nearly two-thirds of all music transactions in the country. In 2015, the amount of pirated music in India alone was approximately US$4 billion.
It is important to have a strong legal framework to protect intellectual property, but it is equally important to harness technology to ensure that these laws are enforced. Saavn is helping tackle this by making sure that legal and affordable ways of consuming music are readily available to everyone.
Combating piracy needs to be a priority. Saavn is serious about changing the culture around music consumption. We help people listen to their favorite songs without breaking the bank, so that artistes can be compensated for creating the music that people love.
In India, where piracy is rampant and physical distribution is dead, digital music services like Saavn are often the only way labels and artistes can see some of that revenue reclaimed. By making free music available to anyone with access to the Internet, Saavn is paving the way for millions to access their favorite entertainment legally.
Piracy has always been a huge concern for the film industry. It eats up a major portion of the revenue of the films, as a result of which the growth of the industry as a whole is affected. As per recent reports in newspapers, the estimated revenue industry loses due to piracy is about $2.7 billion annually, which is a huge amount.
We need to have stringent anti-piracy laws and ensure that they are enforced at an individual level too. With the advent of digital cinema, piracy has been eliminated to a large extent. UFO Moviez’ widespread delivery of first-day, first-show films across geographies has helped curb piracy as non-availability of the movie was a major factor which was allowing piracy to flourish. The availability of the movie at a theatre near to them has brought the audience back to the theatres, which in turn has increased the box office collections. The threat of piracy has also significantly reduced, due to UFO Moviez’ secure technology, as the movie is fully encrypted and there is no manual handling involved since the films are delivered directly via satellite to cinemas across the country. Our technology also provides accurate and secure reporting of playback details to ensure that there are no unauthorised screenings.
To further discourage and prevent piracy in the film industry, UFO Moviez has pioneered the concept of invisible watermarking. Each theatre-server displays a unique invisible fingerprint when projecting the digital movie on the screen in a non-intrusive manner. Using this technology security feature, it is possible to trace, from a pirated CD or DVD, the name and location of the theatre where the film was illegally videographed, along with other co-ordinates like time, date, etc, thus, helping to crack down on piracy. It is also necessary to create awareness about piracy. All these steps will go a long way in eliminating piracy.
Piracy continues to be a huge problem. This year, Balaji Motion Pictures was hurt not once but twice with their films being pirated before release. Piracy is such a big problem that overnight, it kills the profitability of a film and ensures that it has little chance at the box office.
The process by which we censor our films and the early digital mastering means the risk of piracy is always around the corner. Our films are moving around freely on DVDs while it waits for the censors, and more often than not, once the cuts are made the film goes back for distribution, where films get mastered in various formats. Again, it is out of the producer’s hands and moving freely from studio to studio with no real policing. The censor board has at long last decided to accept films on DCPs, which is a first step – but there are several holes we still need to plug in the overseas censor process and during mastering.
As producers, we tend to focus on piracy once the film is in cinemas. We hire agencies to monitor and report piracy but it’s more like shadow boxing. The real damage has been done in the pre-release phase. We need stronger laws and implementation. Unfortunately, till we are seriously taken as a industry, we will continue to get this treatment from law enforcement agencies. Piracy is still considered a victimless crime and not taken seriously.