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UK boosts Bollywood’s anti-piracy fight

Platform, channel and content protection services provider Friend MTS is leading a delegation heading to India this week that will investigate the country’s escalating problem of digital piracy which costs the Indian film industry billions of dollars every year.

India is not only the biggest film producer in the world making between 1,500 and 2,000 movies each year, including the cult Bollywood movies, it also has one of the highest rates of broadcast piracy in the world, notes the company.

Friend MTS, which opened its Indian administration in Chennai earlier in 2016, has gathered senior executives from India’s film production industry, as well as actors and Bollywood stars, to meet with members of its team of anti-piracy technology experts and discuss how the country’s movie piracy problem can be controlled by utilising the company’s ground-breaking technology.

Amongst Friend MTS’s anti-piracy product portfolio is ‘Studio’, which is a service that is designed to identify instances of pirated movies on the Internet, and is being used by some of the largest content owners in the world. This service is now available to the biggest movie market in the world in India.

The Indian delegation will also include technology experts from market research organisation Frost & Sullivan, who will unveil findings of the company’s latest study into digital piracy in India.

In 2012, India was added to an ‘International Piracy Watch List’ by a US government panel looking to highlight countries not taking sufficient action to address high rates of digital piracy. According to a 2013 article in WIPO Magazine (the journal of the World Intellectual Property Organization), the Indian film industry loses around $3.34 billion and some 60,000 jobs every year because of piracy.

Friend MTS’s Asia operation is led by Rahul Nehra, who is coordinating the Chennai event. He works with India’s film studios, broadcasters and content owners to help protect them from unauthorised redistribution of their live and premium on-demand content.

“India has the highest rate of digital and broadcast piracy in the world and this represents the loss of billions of dollars to the country’s economy and worldwide film industry,” advised Paul Hastings, Friend MTS’ Executive Vice President, Global Sales & Marketing. “As pioneers in the creation and provision of content protection services, already used by many of the world’s pay-TV operators, rights holders and broadcasters, we want to engage with the country’s movie producers and work with them to effectively fight the increasing threat to the revenue of premium channels and rights holders.”

“Our anti-piracy solution Studio represents a huge, potential solution for India’s movie industry and is a true step-change in the fight against movie piracy. It uses a sophisticated but lightweight fingerprinting technology, coupled with our global monitoring platform and network forensics, to identify and enforce against websites and apps that are being used deliver illegal content.”

Ahead of the forum in Chennai, leading representatives of India’s film industry have expressed their optimism about the prospect of a solution to the country’s significant piracy problem.

“The industry welcomes these initiatives on digital anti-piracy and believe this will help drive revenue of new and old films alike,” declared the Secretary of Tamil Film Producers Council, T Siva, a film producer at Amma Creation.

Film producer Venkat Prabhu commented: “We are excited at the prospects of having FMTS track and contain on-line piracy for us, and are hopeful this will give us a significant upside in local and global revenues.”

“By teaming up with our local partner, Rahul Nehra, a well-known face in the Indian broadcast, satellite, content and OTT markets, and growth consultants from Frost & Sullivan, the event and our delegation will be an unprecedented forum for discussing India’s spiralling digital piracy problems and how together we can work to stop it,” said Hastings.

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