Assam Assembly discusses CD piracy issue

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Guwahati, Mar 12 (UNI) The growing menace of audio and video CD piracy surfaced in Assam Assembly today with former Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta bringing in a Zero Hour notice highlighting that pirated cheap CDs and VCDs are breaking the very backbone of the already struggling film industry of the state. Mr Mahanta pointed that conviction rate in piracy-related cases was low due to ignorance because of police and other authorities regarding such crimes. He maintained that the state government had failed in taking concrete steps against the nefarious circle involved in piracy, even though the government was aware of the issue. The former chief minister stressed on the need for a specific legislation dealing with piracy and also urged the state government to create greater awareness against piracy among the public through advertisements if it wanted the struggling film industry of the state to survive. He also said the four per cent tax on CDs should be waived as an incentive to the industry. State Cabinet Minister Rockybul Hussain, replying on behalf of the chief minister who holds the Home ministry, informed the House that the government had initiated measures to check piracy and safeguard the interests of the film industry. He informed that copyright cell was reconstituted in 2002, which is now headed by the DIG (CID). Altogether 241 cases had been registered under Copyright Act, 1957, since 2002, with 289 people arrested. While one person was arrested, investigations were on against 201 people and chargesheet filed in 39 cases.

UNI SG BA SW RS1419

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