Piracy

97% of the Indian population uses mobile phones with an average monthly data consumption of 9.8 GB per user. Approximately 900 satellite TV channels, 6,000 multi-system operators, 60,000 local cable operators and seven Direct-to-Home (DTH) service providers are currently operating in the country. The media and entertainment industry in India has grown at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10.9% from financial year 2017-18. Media consumption has grown at a CAGR of 9% during 2012-18, almost nine times that of the USA and two times that of China. From April 2000 to December 2018, foreign direct investment inflows in the information and broadcasting sector reached USD7.5 billion. [1]

What is Piracy?

In medieval presets, the term piracy was often used for the act of raiding or looting, which involved the ship-borne looters, who then attacked dwellers of another ship or a coastal area, with the primary purpose being to loot them of their belongings, such as cargo or other valuables.[2] The oxford dictionary defines piracy as “the unauthorized use or reproduction of another’s work.”

Laws relating to Piracy:

  • Copyright Act, 1957

the Indian Constitution has the Copyright Act, 1957, which acts as the main statute for all copyright-related laws in India.  Under section 13 of the Act, copyright protection is conferred on literary works, dramatic works, musical works, artistic works, cinematograph films, and sound recordings.

The Copyright Act, 1957 handles protection of copyrighted material via classification of the same into two categories of rights, those being –

Economic Rights: The scope of this Act falls under originally conceptualized work including literary works, dramatic works, musical works, artistic works, cinematograph films, and sound recordings. The owners of these intellectual properties and works are given exclusive rights which they can exercise when it comes to the reproduction and distribution of these works, and to have a share in the profit of any sales of the product made by a licensed third-party.

Moral Rights: Section 57 of the Act splits moral rights into two basic rights, right of paternity and right of integrity. The former enables the original creator of the intellectual property to be able to claim ownership of it and prevent any others from claiming ownership. The latter enables the creator to restrict any and all ‘distortion, mutilation or other alterations of his work, or any other action in relation to said work’ which may damage his reputation.

Punishment for piracy:

Illegal downloading of movies

The Union of India recently issued an amendment to the Cinematograph Act, 1952, in order to clearly define the punishment which can be faced by pirates who, without the written authorisation of the copyright owner, use any recording device to make or transmit a copy of a film. It is not necessary for the film to be fully recorded, or even distributed via the internet. If the perpetrator attempts to record the movie while inside the theatre, he is guilty under the act.

The punishment for this is generally imprisonment, a fine, or both. This punishment can also extend to those who download said pirated movies.

Charges for piracy

Since the crime of piracy is not limited to only the movie industry, the punishment specified above isn’t the only one dealt to pirates. It varies with the industry in which they are committing an act of piracy. The most notable forms of punishment are covered in the provisions of the Copyright Act, 1957 and Information Technology Act, 2000. The punishments specified are as follows-

  • Copyright Act: If a person uses a pirated computer program, or a program that has been manufactured or acquired through copyright infringement, on any computer device, he shall be liable for imprisonment no less than 7 days, extending up to 3 years, and a fine no less than Rs. 50 thousand, which may be extended up to Rs. 3 lakh.
  • IT Act: If a person gains access to a computer, a network of computers, or computer systems, then proceeds to view, copy and extract the data present on the computer, either through digital means or through a removable storage medium(pen drive or hard disk), without prior authorization from the owner of the computer, he is liable to pay damages as compensation which can go up to a sum of Rs. 1 crore. Any person who downloads said stolen data will also be liable for the same amount.

[1] Manisha Singh, Aprajita Nigam, Smrita Sinha, India: Combating Copyright Online Piracy In India: Government’s Initiatives And Judicial Enforcement,Mondaq (12th March,2020) https://www.mondaq.com/india/copyright/901978/combating-copyright-online-piracy-in-india-government39s-initiatives-and-judicial-enforcement

[2] Subodh Asthana, Piracy: Definition, Laws, and Prevention, blogipleaders(November25,2019) , https://blog.ipleaders.in/piracy-laws-india/

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

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The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at adv.aishwaryasandeep@gmail.com

We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.

We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge

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