The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) and the country’s Intellectual Property Rights Organisation (IPO) have revealed a joint initiative against the menace of piracy in the electronic media.
According to PEMRA, the unhindered influx of pirated content on broadcast media and cable TV in Pakistan is not only posing a serious regulatory challenge but also causing a huge loss to the national exchequer besides promoting piracy. PEMRA has been in close liaison with other relevant agencies, including IPO, to launch serious and concerted drive against the pirated content, which it says is also causing serious harm to country’s international reputation. IPO has exclusive mandate to deal with the copyright issues and to ensure that no violation of copy / proprietary law takes place.
At a recent meeting held with representatives of the IPO at Islamabad, PEMRA emphasised the need to set out a joint strategy to curb growing piracy in electronic media and also apprised them of recent actions taken by the Authority against TV channels and cable operators whereby not only the pirated content was stopped immediately but heavy fines were also imposed upon them.
According to PEMRA, a major impediment undermining competition and causing imbalance in the electronic media sector is ‘Piracy’. Section 20 (g) of PEMRA Amendment Act-2007 unequivocally ordains that: “A person who is issued a licence shall not broadcast or distribute programme or advertisement in violation of copy rights or other proprietary rights.”
PEMRA, in consultation with the IPO, has also issued stern warnings to all broadcast media and cable TV operators asking them to refrain from exhibiting pirated content and they have been directed to submit the copyright record of their content being relayed on electronic media or cable TV networks to the Authority.
PEMRA says that when any showing of pirated content is observed, legal actions would be initiated against violators under relevant provisions of PEMRA and IPO laws.