04 December, 2020

The Phantom Menace

Armed with a Delhi high court order, Hollywood steps up its anti-piracy drive

The Phantom Menace

IT'S the one act that Hollywood dreads. The spectre of video and cable piracy in Indiaókept alive by swarms of unscrupulous, faceless, fly-by-night operatorsóhas haunted the American studios for years, nibbling away at their bottomline with virtual impunity. According to industry estimates, it robs the studios of at least 40 per cent of their potential earnings in the country every yearóthe cumulative annual loss is believed to be a whopping $66 million. It couldn't any longer have been left to the forces of nature to sort out, so the Motion Pictures Association (mpa), which represents the Hollywood majors the world over, has swung into action in right earnest.

As Hollywood's anti-piracy gunslingers go in for the kill in India, they've been buoyed by a recent legal victory. In response to an mpa petition, Justice J.B. Goel of the Delhi high court issued a landmark order on July 7 barring Siti Cable, the ground distribution arm of Zee TV, and IN Cablenet, a subsidiary of the Hinduja-owned Indusind Media, from screening Hollywood films, old or new, on their networks for...



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