Experts throw light on IPR and copyright issues
Should the intellectual property or creative content be barred from widespread dissemination to protect the hard work of producers, or should it be freely spread around the world in a global economic era that often doesn't have boundaries? These and similar questions were discussed at a panel discussion on "Intellectual Property, Piracy and the Creative Industries" on the third and final day of the FICCI FRAMES convention being held in Mumbai.
The session, anchored by Vishnu Som, Editor and
Senior Anchor, NDTV, highlighted issues around intellectual property
and the dynamics of its ownership in an industry that is rapidly
becoming characterised by multiple content distributors over multiple
Present on the panel was Dr G Raghavender,
Registrar of Copyrights, Government of India. He spoke about the
Copyright Amendment Act, 2012. The amendments were designed to extend
copyright protection to the digital environment in harmony with the
World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Copyright Treaty and
the WIPO Phonograms Treaty, 1996. The bill introduced exclusive
economic rights for performance, and, for the first time, moral
rights for performers.
But Deepak Jacob, President and General
Counsel, Star India, differed in his view about the bill. He said
that it had a fundamental problem: Of the five key stakeholders that
come under copyright, viz. the print , film, television, radio and
animation and gaming sectors, not a single one was consulted when
these amendments were proposed. They were proposed at the behest of
certain vested interests, primarily authors of literary and musical
works, and certain performers.
The amendments have actually created an
impasse in the film and television industry, where authors have
become trade unions holding film and television producers and content
creators to ransom by demanding exorbitant royalties.
Datta, Partner, Saikrishna & Associates, felt that the statutory
requirement that when government evolves policy, it will focus on
multiple stakeholders, is a positive development. Yet, there was
bound to be friction between the expanding numbers of stakeholders
and levels of dissemination; he suggested that involuntary licensing
could provide industry with seamless access to works. He also flagged
up the issue about the biggest brands being advertised on pirate
"The dumber you act, the less responsibility
you will have," is what the law is suggesting, said Mr Nandan
Kamath of Copyright Integrity International. The laws need to take
responsibility for content on networks. He felt that the issue of
digital piracy is not just legal but has ripple effects into the
monetisation of content. Piracy itself is not well defined, and has
lots of grey areas.
Annie Luo, Director, Media,
Entertainment and Information Industries, World Economic Forum,
discussed about her work on intellectual property in the digital
context, that identified cultural differences as an element affecting
how people related to the digital media.
Director General, FIAPF, felt that it was important for producers to
enjoy full contractual freedom to produce films and robust operate in
a high risk financial environment.
Questions from the audience
revolved around who in a team would be the "owner" of a
script, how young people could be educated about piracy, and when
permissions were needed to use content.