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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 December, 2003, 11:27 GMT
India seeks film piracy action
Still from Bollywood movie
Bollywood films are widely pirated
India is urging Malaysia to stamp out the pirating of films and music - an illegal business that hits the profits of the Bollywood film industry.

"I think [piracy] is to a great extent rampant here," India's Commerce and Industry minister, Satyabarata Mokherjee, said in Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysia is one of many Asian countries where CD and DVD pirating is widescale.

Pirate versions of Microsoft's next computer operating system are already on sale in Malaysia.

Highly popular

Mr Mokherjee made his comments at a forum of Indian and Malaysian businessmen in the Malaysian capital.

"Legal steps can be taken to curb this piracy. They should trace out the people who are really responsible for it," he said.

Correspondents in Malaysia say that Bollywood films and Indian music are highly popular there and that their appeal goes well beyond the minority of Malaysians who are of ethnic Indian origin.

In September the Malaysian authorities announced plans to impose price ceilings on locally produced film and music CDs and DVDs to try to reduce the incentive for illegal selling.

But the regulations do not apply to foreign films and music.

A senior Hollywood executive says the film industry lost some $600m last year from the pirating of DVDs in Asia.

'Frustrating'

Piracy is a growing problem within India itself.

Bollywood actor Vivek Oberoi has argued that out of 132 films made by Bollywood last year, all but eight lost money.

"The loss incurred by a movie producer here is largely due to pirates as pirated copies of his product are available even before the official release of the film," he said.

"This is frustrating. Why should a pirate make a profit and I incur a loss as all that money he makes should actually be earned by producers and distributors?"




SEE ALSO:
Asian pirates in Microsoft 'coup'
02 Dec 03  |  Technology
Indian movie pirates targeted
13 Mar 03  |  Entertainment
Lucas leads anti-piracy campaign
06 Mar 03  |  Entertainment
Piracy 'threat' to Hollywood
19 Feb 03  |  Entertainment


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