A joint venture is revealed on the last day of Mumbai’s FICCI-Frames media and entertainment conference.

The Hindi film industry and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) have formed a coalition to tackle piracy in India.

The initiative, announced on the last of the FICCI-Frames entertainment conference in Mumbai, will focus on tackling all forms of piracy, including digital file sharing. Outgoing MPAA chairman Dan Glickman launched the scheme, which has been developed in collaboration with local studio executive including Yash Chopra (Yash Raj Films), Mukesh Bhatt (Vishesh Films), Sanjeev Lamba (Reliance Big Entertainment) and Siddharth Roy Kapur (UTV).

According to a 2008 report by US India Business Council/Ernst & Young, the Indian film industry lost $959 million and 571,896 jobs due to piracy. 

Moser Baer’s Harish Dayani said the Indian film industry and the Bollywood brands are “far too important” to be destroyed by piracy. He added: “There needs to be a strong legislative and enforcement response in tackling the issue of copyright theft. The enormity of the theft is perhaps not being understood and the current state of affairs of the film business is largely due to large scale consumption of pirated DVDs.” 

Vishesh’s Bhatt added: “Online copyright theft in India is growing rapidly. Two separate reports last year placed India in the top 10 countries worldwide for P2P infringements. The government needs to sit down with rights-holders and find a solution to this menace.” 

Giving the keynote speech, Glickman said that the number of co-productions between MPAA members and the Hindi film industry has risen; it made sense to collaborate on wider issues.

 “That is why we are here today to announce the launch of this coalition. While piracy is damaging creative communities across the world, it need not be inevitable if we take steps to collectively address this problem.”