Piracy cost Indian entertainment industry over $4 billion

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Washington, Apr 22 (UNI) Veteran Indian filmmaker Bobby Bedi brought to the notice of US Congressmen the massive problems of piracy and counterfeiting that cost India's entertainment industries over 4 billion dolar annually. He made this observation at a special event leading up to the World Intellectual Property Day on April 26.

Democratic Congresswoman Diane Watson from California, chair of the Congressional Entertainment Industries Caucus, noted the rampant piracy problems facing the filmmakers.

On World Intellectual Property Day we recognise the talent of creators around the globe who enrich our lives with their artistry and innovation. Tonight, we hear the story of one filmmaker who has made a tremendous contribution to India 's burgeoning entertainment industry. He represents one of the thousands of filmmakers around the world who are victims of piracy.

Congressional Intellectual Property Promotion and Piracy Prevention Caucus Co-Chairs Robert Wexler (Democrat) also called for efforts to combat piracy here in the United States and abroad.

Michael P. Ryan, director of the Creative and Innovative Economy at the GW Law School, remarked, Originality and innovation are essential to driving long-term growth in developing economies.

He said that piracy created a real dilemma for filmmakers like Bedi and curtails their imagination. So long as pirates earn a high share of movie revenues, producers must focus on making relatively inexpensive movies. To finance a grander vision, the creators must receive not just the critical but also the monetary rewards of inventiveness.

The Indian film industry is the largest in the world with more than 1,000 films produced each year.

Bedi is critically acclaimed for his work on films including Bandit Queen, Fire and Saathya. He currently is producing a three-film series on the Indian legend, the Mahabharata, which at an estimated cost of 70 million, dollar will be India 's most expensive movie venture ever.

World Intellectual Property Day celebrations take place in countries around the globe every year on April 26 and seek to increase public understanding intellectual property and how it shapes our world. This year's Capitol Hill event was organised in advance of the official date designated by the World Intellectual Property Organization.

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