Booking of pirates under MPDA act will check piracy:Patil

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Mumbai, Oct 15 (UNI) Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil today assured Film producers that his government was determined to check piracy and pirates would soon be booked under the stringent Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities (MPDA) act.

Speaking to a delegation of the Film and Television Producers Guild of India, Mr Patil said producers and sellers of pirated goods would face detention of a year and piracy has been made a non-bailable offence.

The delegation comprised actor Shabana Azmi, Guild president and UTV CEO Ronnie Screwvala and producer Ritesh Sidhwani.

Mr Patil said the amended MPDA act would come into force within a month of the President's sanction. He said the cabinet decision has been sent to the Governor for approval after which the President's assent was required.

The minister, who is in charge of the Home portfolio, said the present anti-piracy laws under the Copyright act were bailable and the confiscated goods would be returned to the offenders once they were out on bail. But, once the amended MPDA act comes into force, the confiscated goods will not be returned.

Ms Azmi said the need of the hour was to sensitize the police force about the provisions of the amended law and the film industry representatives and police needed to work in co-ordination to tackle piracy, which was resulting in annual loss of over rs 4000 crore to the film industry.

Mr Screwvala and Mr Sidhwani felt that each police station should have separate cell to deal with piracy related complaints. But, Mr Patil told them that the power to act against pirates rests with officer of the level of sub-inspector and above at each police station. On receiving complaint of piracy, a team of police officials can conduct a raid and confiscate the goods.

UNI

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