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Copyright and Piracy |

Sahil Avi Kapoor, 20140121136


The global era of instant communication has arrived. Any individual living in
the remotest of the places can today enjoy live viewing of an event
happening across any location on the globe. The internet has sped up and
created a super-efficient and extremely affordable means of communication
and information sharing. Thus, ease of access to information has seen a
transcending change in the last decade or so. In fact here wont be many
around us who havent shared movie trailers, music videos or paintings
through WhatsApp or other similar instant messaging services. Thus,
although advancement in communication technology has radically decreased
time lag and cost for information exchange, it has led to a huge threat to
international copyrights, stemming from rampant piracy.
Copyright is the ownership given to the creator of any intellectual property
by law. The intellectual property could be a new scientific innovation, or more
so in the media context, a song, a picture, a movie, a story or even a script.
The law thus gives the creator the sole right to re-create copies, distribute or
make sales revenue from the respective piece. Besides safeguarding art
originality, copyright also plays a role in the economic sphere. The exchequer
makes enormous profit through copyrights by charging various taxes, duties
and cess fees in the form of excise duty, sales or income tax from the
creation as well as sale of copyrights. Moreover, as the copyrights pervade
national boundaries, copyrights are also a major source of foreign exchange.
In India, unlike in developed countries such as USA, Japan or Germany, there
are no formal and trustworthy estimates about the contribution of copyrights
to the national economy. Audio CDs, software, publishing, print media,
motion films and television share a major chunk of the copyright pie in the
country.
Copyright piracy is a common and widely observed feature in global
economies today. Any unauthorized production, import or distribution of any
copyright protected property is termed as piracy. Thus, if any individual other
than the owner infringes the right to reproduce, publish, translate or perform
to the public, or even sell licenses further, the phenomenon is termed as
piracy.
Thus, piracy of copyright protected works is as old as copyright itself. The
prominent reason for rampant piracy is lack of law enforcement and
awareness. The fact is that the copyright laws in India are as elaborate and
strict than numerous developed European economies, but the problem lies in
its execution. Even law enforcement agencies such as the police are unaware
and uneducated about such piracy themselves. The awareness level among
end consumers is also extremely low. Most users are unmindful of copyright

laws and thus hardly ever check the product for its copyright notification
while making any purchase. Piracy is further aggravated as most pirated
products are generally much cheaper than their original counterparts.
The socio economic aspects prevalent in India also play a major role in the
problem of piracy. Because of its lack of physical manifestation and
somewhat intellectual and white collar nature, many dont consider piracy a
theft at all. Moreover, our large illiterate population as well as the huge
spread of poverty highly influences piracy as a phenomenon. Lowly, material
gains through piracy, be it on the production or the consumption side are
carried out mostly because of the aforementioned problem. High inflation,
unemployment and weak law enforcement are other major reasons for the
same.