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KFCC plans private anti-piracy squads

K.N. Venkatasubba Rao

BANGALORE: The Kannada cinema industry, in association with the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce, which has finalised its plans to press private anti-piracy squads in the State for protecting its commercial interests, is now facing the challenge of drawing the Government's support on its measure as the issue comes under the purview of law and order

Sources in the Government and in the cinema industry are wondering whether the Government can allow a trade body to constitute a squad for curbing illegal activities. Government agencies concerned can conduct raids against the illicit business centres or book cyber agencies involved in such a business under the relevant laws with authentic information.

But it cannot allow any private body to act on its own, sources pointed out.

Even as the Anti-piracy Bill (proposed Goonda Act) for containing the piracy of audio–video-CD-ROMs and cassettes of films and music, is awaiting the President's assent, the KFCC planned to constitute an anti-piracy squad, comprising industry leaders and others, in July itself “for exerting pressure on the Government”.

The chamber has even announced that creating anti-piracy squads for containing the increasing menace has become inevitable as the cinema and music industry and television channels were under huge loss.

It claimed that the cinema and music industry in the State had lost around Rs. 250 crore in the past couple of years.

Corpus

It has proposed to create an initial corpus of Rs. 10 lakh for creating the squads. It also plans to press four vehicles equipped with necessary manpower and equipment for detecting and containing the illicit business, and has even urged retired police officials to head its squads.

It has said the squads would function only as a catalyst in drawing the attention of the authorities concerned towards the unethical business and leave the rest to the authorities concerned. But the interactive sessions held by the industry on the issue was reportedly not encouraging.

However, with the alleged uploading of music tracks, including songs, of Upendra starrer Super by a website within hours of its commercial release recently, the issue has gained momentum.

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