We took a look last month at the potential prosperity of international movie markets outside of Hollywood, including a nod to India’s rampant demand for its own films. As in any popular creative market piracy rears its ugly head, requiring authorities to come to the aid of creators.
Well, the high court in Bombay came to exemplify this action last week, following heavy piracy of the film “Roar: Tigers of the Sundarbans.”
A mixture of known and unidentified offenders, including two cable operators, flagged the film’s popular appeal and flooded the local market with illegal copies of the title, which didn’t go unnoticed by its producer Abis Rizvi. Returning to court with specific cases of infringement, following previous appeals based more on anticipation than actual fact Rizvi found immediate support from authorities.
The high court issued an injunction against all parties involved in illegal distribution of the film, coming just one week after its October 31st release and instructing police to assist the movie makers in shutting down websites and physical “hawkers” of pirated DVD copies. Although it puts the onus back on the filmmakers to work with police to catch offenders, the speed of the support is what marks it out as exemplary action on the court’s behalf.
The activity comes at a time when India has just announced a new Minister for Information & Broadcasting, Arun Jaitley. Jaitley returns to the ministry after fifteen years away and would be well served to follow the example his capital’s high court has set in pursuing piracy with immediate action.
Prevention is preferable to cure, of course, and the latter comes firmly under the court’s remit. The former is best addressed by the politicians who define the laws that the courts must uphold. With a movie business worth almost $2 billion a year to his country, Jaitley will have every reason to steer his peers in the direction of protecting the creative minds that clearly thrive within the Indian film industry.