Mumbai, March 31 (IANS) The Indian entertainment industry may be worth Rs.500 billion, but the movie segment loses Rs.160 billion annually to piracy.
This startling revelation was made by Ron Summers, president of US-India Business Council (USIBC), at the recent Ficci-Frames global convention on media and entertainment in Mumbai.
He said the global revenue share of the Indian film industry was only two percent of the total annual gross income of Hollywood, primarily because pirates usurped a good chunk of the Indian movie revenue earned from the domestic and international markets.
'Apart from adopting effective legal measures to pre-empt piracy, efforts should also be made to extract maximum value proposition from the entertainment content. The best way to do it is by cashing in on the technological advancement witnessed globally in electronics,' the USIBC president said.
Noted Bollywood filmmaker Yash Chopra admitted that it would not be possible to root out the external market force of piracy, which has entrenched itself too deeply over the years.
'But we can't afford to resign ourselves to this fact. We must identify measures to mitigate the hold of this force over the market. We must understand the enormous potential of the digital media and try to get value out of it.
'We have to beat pirates in their own game. But to be able to do this, we need the help of the regulatory bodies,' Chopra said.
According to the secretary in the Information and Broadcasting ministry, Asha Swarup, the only way to tackle piracy was to ensure tight security in the supply chain.
'Simultaneous or quick release of movies on the Internet or home video could be an alternative to curb piracy,' she said, citing how distributors of 'Jab We Met' benefited from this strategy recently.
Chief executive officer of Sony Entertainment, Kunal Dasgupta, also touched upon this paradigm shift in movie distribution.
'By releasing 'Jab We Met' in the home video circuit soon after its release in theatres, Moser Baer not only managed to reduce piracy, but also earned more revenue,' he said.
Dasgupta believed that a large number of people would want to watch a movie in the theatres even if CDs and DVDs were available in the market.