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Video pirates to be booked under MPDAA

Now,involvement in piracy might mean- six months non-bailable imprisonment.

Written by Express News Service | Pune |
August 1, 2009 12:48:10 am

Now,involvement in piracy might mean- six months non-bailable imprisonment. In a step taken to curb piracy,the state government has now made arrangements to include those involved in video piracy to be booked under the Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities Act (MPDAA) 1981.

“Piracy is one of the biggest challenges that the film industry is facing these days. Earlier,the government had no legal weapon to punish those caught dealing with pirated CDs. But we are happy that with this arrangement,those in the piracy business can be treated in a similar manner as slumlords,bootloggers,drug offenders and dangerous persons,” said Ajay Sarpotdar,president,Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Chitrapat Mahamandal (ABMCM).

The decision came after ABMCM requested the government authorities to come up with a concrete legal action against those involved in piracy. As per the inclusion,video pirates,meaning people against whom at least one charge sheet has been filed under the Copyrights Act 1957 for infringement of copyrights relating to cinematograph film or sound recording,the offense of which the court has taken cognizance,if found to commit or attempt to commit,will be punishable under the MPDAA act.

Every year,the Marathi film industry,with an average of 100 films per year,suffers a revenue loss of approximately 3- 400 crores. The ABMCM authorities also met Satyapal Singh,police commissioner and Rajendra Sonawane,joint commissioner regarding the issue. “Now that the legal action is ensured,we are planning to establish an anti-piracy cell that will include retired police personnel who will specialise in anti-piracy activities. The whole idea is to make this a commissioner level issue rather than limiting it to a police station level crime,” added Sarpotdar.

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“After this,we now plan to publicise the issue through hoardings,advertisements,short films and public rallies during Ganeshotsav. In fact plans of following –Anti Piracy Day during shooting schedules are also on,” he added.

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