Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Wednesday, Sep 22, 2004
Industry & Economy
Variety - Cinema
Telugu film industry seeks people's help to fight piracy
Hyderabad , Sept. 21
GETTING a fresh lease of life from the wide publicity to the Mahesh Babu episode, the Telugu film industry has appealed to the people to help it curb piracy that has been eating the vitals of the industry.
Addressing a press conference here, several industry leaders felt that people had a huge responsibility in curbing the menace.
The film industry would come out with publicity material to bring awareness on the issue of piracy and its ramifications on the industry and thousands of workers depended on film production.
Shortly, the industry would release TV films, posters and pamphlets to spread the word.
They highlighted the need for bringing the videocassette and CD libraries under a licensing regime to bring order into the system.
This, they said, would help keep tabs on the offenders of the Copyright Act.
Mr G. Adiseshagiri Rao, President of AP Film Chamber of Commerce, Mr Murali Mohan, Mr D. Suresh Babu, Mr Allu Aravind, Mr Mahesh Babu, Mr Ravi Kishore and some leading film stars were present.
They were talking to reporters after Mahesh Babu got bail from a Warangal court after his surrender. A case was booked against the film actor after his reported attack on a videocassette library that allegedly circulated pirated copies of his film Arjun.
Mr Suresh Babu of Suresh Productions said the industry had asked for a Task Force to tackle the issue. "We will fund its activities, if need be," he said.
"We are in touch with the Union Ministers, Mr S. Jaipal Reddy and Mr Dasari Narayana Rao to bring about necessary changes in the Copyright Act," he said. Mr Allu Aravind of Geeta Arts said possession of pirated copies itself amounted to cognizable offence.
Mr Adiseshagiri Rao said the industry lost Rs 300 crore annually because of piracy. "Local politicians, IPS and IAS officials are bailing out the offenders, diluting the cases," he alleged.
He said punishment for making and circulating pirated versions was too mild. "We have asked the Government to come out with stringent punishments."
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