The rise in internet users in today’s digital age has led to an increase in internet piracy and the distribution of illegal copies.
Digital technology provides numerous opportunities for content sharing, but it also presents significant challenges to copyright owners.
Online copyright infringements have evolved, with copyright piracy becoming a pressing concern.
To combat this, technological measures are being implemented to establish a robust “copyright protection force for anti-piracy,” ensuring that creators’ rights are upheld in the face of growing digital challenges.
In today’s digital age, where content is king, how do we ensure that the king remains protected?
With the surge in online platforms and the ease of sharing, the threat of digital theft has never been more real. Intellectual property, be it music, movies, books, or software, is at constant risk of being pirated.
Remember the days when you’d hear of blockbuster movies being sold on the streets even before their official release? Or when your favorite artist’s unreleased album would mysteriously appear online?
These instances highlight the dire need for robust copyright protection.
Enter the copyright protection force for anti-piracy. Think of it as the digital guardian, always on the lookout, ensuring that content remains in the right hands. But what exactly is it?
The Copyright Protection Force is a collective term for various anti-piracy measures and systems designed to safeguard content from unauthorised access and distribution.
It’s not just a single tool or software; it’s an entire ecosystem working in tandem to protect intellectual property rights.
Imagine having a personal bodyguard for your content, ensuring it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. That’s the essence of the copyright protection force for anti-piracy.
Anti-piracy measures refer to strategies and actions taken by content creators, copyright holders, governments, and organisations to prevent or mitigate copyright infringement and the unauthorised distribution of intellectual property.
These measures are essential to protect the rights and revenues of content creators and to ensure a fair and sustainable digital ecosystem. Here are some common anti-piracy protection measures:
DRM technologies are used to encrypt and protect digital content, such as eBooks, music, movies, and software.
DRM systems control access and usage of content, ensuring that only authorised users can access it.
Digital watermarking involves embedding imperceptible information within media files to identify the copyright owner.
Fingerprinting uses unique signatures in content to track and identify unauthorised copies.
Advanced algorithms are employed to scan and identify copyrighted material in user-generated content on websites, social media, and file-sharing platforms. This enables rapid takedowns of infringing content.
Copyright holders can take legal action against individuals or entities engaged in piracy. This may involve issuing cease-and-desist letters, filing lawsuits, and pursuing damages for copyright infringement.
Content owners can send takedown notices to websites and online platforms hosting pirated content.
These notices request the removal of infringing material under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) in the United States or equivalent laws in other countries.
Blockchain can be used to create an immutable record of copyright ownership.
It helps establish a transparent and tamper-proof ownership history, making it difficult for pirates to claim ownership falsely.
ISPs can be engaged to block or limit access to websites hosting pirated content. Collaboration with ISPs is crucial in curbing online piracy.
Public awareness campaigns and educational initiatives inform consumers about the ethical, legal, and economic implications of piracy.
Educated consumers are less likely to engage in or support piracy.
Collaboration between copyright holders, technology companies, and law enforcement agencies can facilitate information sharing and coordinated efforts to combat piracy effectively.
Offer legal alternatives that are convenient and reasonably priced. Subscription-based streaming services, digital marketplaces, and pay-per-view options can encourage consumers to access content legally.
Develop and deploy specialised anti-piracy software that monitors online activities, identifies infringing content, and takes automated actions to combat piracy.
In 2016, India took a significant stride in fortifying the protection and enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights. This is achieved through the introduction of the National IPR Policy.
This governmental initiative was crafted to nurture creativity, innovation, and acknowledge the pivotal role of IPR in the country’s economic advancement.
The policy delineates India’s strategy to stimulate creativity and innovation. This is done by cultivating an environment conducive to IP awareness, creation, commercialisation, and enforcement.
The first objective centers on enlightening the public about the economic, cultural, and social advantages of intellectual property rights.
A noteworthy action item involves the integration of IPR studies into school curricula, a pivotal step given that many adolescents, a significant consumer demographic, often engage in content piracy, encompassing unauthorised downloads of movies and music.
By introducing IPR education at an early stage, students can gain a better understanding of the significance of IP rights and the broader economic implications of infringement.
The third objective suggests amendments to The Cinematographs Act, 1952, with a focus on introducing penalties for unauthorised film duplication.
The sixth objective underscores the importance of public awareness and robust enforcement in addressing both offline and online piracy. Key measures proposed include:
Furthermore, the policy draws from the definition of “pirated copyright goods” found in Article 51 of the TRIPS Agreement as a guiding principle.
It characterises these goods as unauthorised copies derived from an original, the replication of which would violate copyright laws in the importing country.
The inception of the National IPR Policy paved the way for the creation of the Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM).
This cell operates under the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, GOI.
Serving as the national touchpoint for the WIPO Technology and Innovation Support Centre programme, CIPAM has been instrumental in amplifying IPR awareness and fortifying its enforcement.
CIPAM started a campaign to combat piracy. By means of a strategic partnership, Viacom18 and the Film and Television Producers Guild of India are involved in this.
This campaign, enriched with animation videos and celebrity endorsements, aims to resonate with the audience on the perils of piracy.
Major cinema chains, including India’s largest, PVR cinemas, screen these videos prior to film showings.
Over 300 websites with an astounding 186 million monthly views have been suspended thanks to cooperation with the Maharashtra Cyber Digital Crime Unit (MCDCU) and the National Internet Exchange of India.
CIPAM’s initiatives aren’t just limited to adults. They’ve ingeniously tailored their campaigns to resonate with children. Animated videos, featuring popular Nickelodeon characters, convey the “Say No to Piracy” message.
India’s first IPR mascot, “IP Nani”, further simplifies the concept of IPR for children. Educational collaborations with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) have produced a plethora of IPR content, available in multiple languages on CIPAM’s official website.
CIPAM’s intellectual property (IP) awareness initiatives, initiated in 2017 in partnership with the International Trademark Association, have successfully extended to more than hundred schools.
Their annual IP competition, IPRISM, offers students a platform to showcase their creativity on IP-related topics.
Over 100 IPR Cells have been set up across Indian academic institutions, reaching a vast audience of students and faculty.
A cornerstone of the National IPR Policy is the rigorous enforcement of IP rights.
To this end, CIPAM, in collaboration with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), has crafted an IPR Enforcement Toolkit for Police.
This toolkit serves as a comprehensive guide for police officials, detailing legal provisions, complaint registration, and search and seizure protocols related to IP crimes.
To further bolster the enforcement mechanism, CIPAM has initiated training programs for police officials, offering them insights into the nuances of IP cases.
These sessions, led by seasoned academics, lawyers, and industry experts, provide a holistic understanding of IP domains.
Furthermore, CIPAM, in collaboration with WIPO and the National Judicial Academy, India (NJA), has been organising training and awareness programs for high court and district court judges, ensuring a well-rounded approach to IPR enforcement and awareness.
The Producers Guild, the Motion Picture Association of America, the Indian Motion Pictures Producers’ Association, and the Indian Music Industry (IMA) have joined forces with the cyber police to form the Maharashtra Cyber Digital Crime Unit.
MCDCU was founded in August 2017.
It is led by Special Inspector General of Police Brijesh Singh, who has taken the lead in the fight against piracy by expertly carrying out serious anti-piracy actions that led to the permanent closure of over 200 of the most popular piracy websites with 172 million monthly visitors.
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WIPO has complimented this initiative, and MCDCU is quickly becoming one of the strongest organisations worldwide.
This cybercrime unit was recently presented with the 2019 Global Intellectual Property Champion Award by the US Chamber of Commerce.
Founded in 1993, the Indian Music Industry (IMI) stands as one of the most venerable music organisations in the country.
With its registration as a society in West Bengal, IMI boasts affiliations with major music powerhouses, including the likes of Venus and Sony.
Notably, IMI pioneered the inclusion of police officers in spearheading anti-piracy campaigns.
With a robust presence in cities like Kolkata, Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai, and several others, IMI is dedicated to law enforcement, intelligence gathering, and other measures to combat music piracy.
Between 2001 and 2004 alone, the organisation lodged over 5500 cases, confiscating more than 10 lakh music cassettes and approximately 25 lakh CDs in their anti-piracy efforts.
BSA conducts numerous anti-piracy efforts across the nation from its regional office in Delhi. In terms of global piracy, India is ranked 20th, according to BSA.
Through an anti-piracy program, they enlist the general population in disseminating information on software that has been stolen.
They also charge various companies for using unlicensed software. To encourage people to stop software piracy, incentive programs were set up.
Numerous Bollywood and film industries, including the well-known T-series and Yash Raj Films, have implemented anti-piracy laws to combat piracy in particular markets.
These reputable businesses frequently carried out raids with police officers to look into the theft of their copyrighted materials and took tough measures against digital stealing.
They participate in both national and international enforcement efforts against online film piracy.
Additionally, this group uses ex-cops to undertake raids across the nation in an effort to execute anti-piracy laws.
To combat the rampant issue of piracy and the unauthorised sale of movies on CDs and DVDs, the Government of India (GOI), in collaboration with state agencies, has been actively conducting raids and implementing preventive measures, especially around new movie releases.
Here are some noteworthy initiatives and changes:
In 2019, a Draft E-Commerce Policy was formulated and presented for public review.
This draft policy has been designed keeping in mind the interests of various stakeholders, including investors, manufacturers, MSMEs, traders, retailers, start-ups, and consumers.
Within this policy, specific measures to counter piracy have been introduced.
On 12 February 2019, the Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was presented in the Rajya Sabha by the Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting.
This amendment aims to add an anti-camcording clause to the Cinematograph Act of 1952.
This new provision will make it illegal for anyone to use a recording device to copy or broadcast a film without the written consent of the film’s producer.
Violators of this provision could face a jail term of up to three years, a fine of up to INR 10 lakhs, or both.
In October 2019, the Bill was sent to the Parliament’s Standing Committee on Information Technology, with the committee being responsible for preparing a report on it.
The Ministry of Home Affairs, under the Indian Government, has initiated the National Cybercrime Reporting Portal (https://cybercrime.gov.in).
This platform empowers citizens to report cybercrimes.
The portal categorises complaints into two main sections:
(i) those related to women and children, and
(ii) other cyber-related issues.
Complaints concerning online piracy can be submitted under the latter category.
The Copyright Act provides artists with protection against cybercrimes, including both civil and criminal repercussions.
Indian courts have been proactive in curbing unauthorised broadcasts and shutting down infringing websites.
The introduction of John Doe orders, known as Ashok Kumar orders in India, has streamlined the process of identifying and acting against online infringers.
These orders permit legal action against unidentified individuals, described only by a brief notice.
This empowers the aggrieved party to inspect premises and confiscate evidence without revealing the infringer’s identity. To secure such an order, the plaintiff must demonstrate:
The John Doe order’s inception can be traced back to the Taj Television LTD v. Rajan Mandal (2003) case.
Here, the Delhi High Court issued an injunction against a cable operator broadcasting the World Cup football tournament without authorisation.
This ruling impacted the television industry significantly, with many cable operators facing substantial losses.
A pivotal advancement came with the ‘dynamic injunction’ in the landmark UTV Software Communication Ltd. v. 1337.
TO and others (2019) case. The Delhi High Court simplified the process for rights holders, allowing them to bypass the traditional judicial order process for website blocking.
Instead, they can directly request the Joint Registrar of the Delhi High Court to extend an existing injunction against similar infringing sites.
Modeled after Singaporean law, this procedure mandates the plaintiff to provide evidence confirming the infringing nature of the site.
Upon verification, the Joint Registrar instructs ISPs to block access to such sites in India, safeguarding unsuspecting users from accessing pirated content.
Over the past twenty years, digital communication and online platforms have experienced unprecedented growth.
India now stands as the world’s second-largest online hub, boasting around 566 million internet enthusiasts, with nearly half of them hailing from rural areas.
A staggering 97% of Indians rely on mobile phones, consuming an average of 9.8 GB of data monthly.
The nation’s media landscape is vast, with about 900 satellite TV channels, numerous cable operators, and seven major DTH service providers.
From 2017-18, India’s media and entertainment sector has expanded at an impressive 10.9% CAGR.
Interestingly, media consumption has skyrocketed at 9% CAGR between 2012-18, outpacing both the US and China.
Foreign investments in the broadcasting sector have touched USD 7.5 billion from April 2000 to December 2018.
Yet, with this digital boom comes challenges. Piracy has surged, diminishing the earnings of copyright holders. Essentially, digital piracy involves the illicit copying, sharing, and sale of copyrighted materials.
Before giants like Netflix and Amazon Prime marked their presence in India, many resorted to unauthorised sites and torrents for their entertainment fix.
Similarly, many music enthusiasts, unaware of legal boundaries, often downloaded tunes from unauthorised sources.
In the face of advanced technologies, the creative, entertainment, and movie industries have faced significant challenges in protecting their exclusive rights.
The rise of alleged content circulating online has not only impacted the integrity of creators but has also taken a toll on the annual revenue of these sectors.
However, with the steadfast efforts of the “copyright protection force for anti-piracy,” there’s renewed hope in safeguarding the essence of originality and ensuring rightful earnings for the industry’s stakeholders.
Think of piracy copyright protection as a shield. It’s all about putting measures in place to keep the rights of content creators safe from those who might want to copy, share, or use their work without permission.
In simple terms, it’s making sure that artists, writers, and other creators get to keep full control over their work and don’t lose out because someone else decided to distribute it without asking.
Having copyright means creators have the exclusive say over how their work is used and shared.
But just having a copyright doesn’t mean piracy stops dead in its tracks. It’s like having a law but needing police to enforce it.
While copyright is that law, it’s the active enforcement of these laws and the addition of anti-piracy steps that really put the brakes on unauthorised sharing and use of content.
India isn’t sitting on its hands when it comes to piracy.
Back in 2016, they rolled out the National Intellectual Property Rights Policy, which is all about making sure people know and understand intellectual property rights.
The Cinematograph Act is another tool in the toolbox, making it clear that copying films without permission is a no-go.
But it’s not just about laws.
India is also using tech solutions, taking legal action, and running campaigns to make the public aware of piracy issues.
By teaming up with different groups, gathering information, and using the latest tech, India is doing its best to keep copyright breaches in check.
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