The Indian film industry and cable operators have reached an agreement to curb video piracy, with the film sector coming forward to make available "properly authorized" old films, legally to the cable operators for telecast over cable.

The agreement would allow cable operators to telecast an Indian film -after it is a year old. At present most ''new'' films are screened on the cable networks in the week of their release hurting their commercial exploitation.

The agreement comes on the heels of open discussions between the film and cable representatives, which included a proposal to ban screening of films on cable all together.

An expert panel comprising of Amit Khanna, Chairman of Reliance Entertainment Ltd, Ram Hingorani of INCable and Indian film directors, Yash Chopra and Yash Johar had been set up to look into the problem of cable piracy.

The film industry is now demanding that the Centre delegate powers to the district police to take action against unauthorised screening. The film community is also setting up a cell empowered to act on behalf of producers, to which illegal screenings can be reported. The filmmakers are also producing anti cable piracy TV commercials with celebrity endorsements to be telecast at Prime Time on Indian TV channels.