India is the 3rd Highest Consumer of Pirated Content in The World
You know India recorded 6.5 billion visits to piracy websites in 2021 – the 3rd highest in the world after U.S and Russia.
Ever wondered the reason for such a rise?
It is easy to find pirated content.
“Watch Batman 2022 on 123movies online for free”
“1movies, the best and easiest way to watch Gangubai Kathiawadi online for free. You can also watch it on Netflix, but you need to wait until it’s released”
“Morbius Movie Download Free in HD Quality”
“Watch Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom which is released only in specific countries for free on HD Online now!”
“Watch Gehraiyaan on Amazon Prime Video. Start your 30-day free trial today and avail an annual subscription package for Rs. 1499”
Given that people receive such results on Google when they search for their favourite movies, it’s no wonder that pirated content skyrocketed in 2021. And in the case of the 5th example, people would rather prefer free-content to subscription-based OTT platforms.
How Piracy is Affecting Revenues of OTT Platforms?
Karan Bedi, CEO of MX Player said that they suffered a loss of 15-20 million in their ad revenue as people watched MX content via illegitimate means regularly. Ashram, one of their popular shows would have gained 20% more viewership if watched legally.
Shailesh Kapoor, CEO of Ormax Media said that according to estimates 23 million people in India had watched at least one episode of Scam 1992 on SonyLIV but the platform accounted for only 2 million subscribers. So where did the remaining 21 million viewers come from? Even If they assumed that many watched with their family on the same subscription, it still doesn’t explain the remaining 16 million viewers.
India’s National E-Commerce Policies Against Piracy
The above data points and facts nudged copyright owners and policy makers to consider and introduce stringent antipiracy measures.
Before this policy came into force, several pirate sites were blocked as per court orders, but there wasn’t any formal legislation or policy to bring down or block torrents, streaming sites, and other websites that allowed access to pirated content.
National e-commerce policies to curtail piracy are adapted from those that are already operational in other regions of the world. Let’s check out the national e-commerce policies against digital piracy in detail:
- Internet service providers like Airtel Xstream Fiber, BSNL, Reliance JioFiber, etc., are required to introduce measures to stop the circulation of pirated content online. But these measures are yet to be detailed.
- ‘Trusted entities’ like movie companies should be prioritized by ISPs when it comes to resolving copyright complaints. The identification of trusted entities and anti-piracy measures will happen on a voluntary basis.
- If ISP providers are notified of infringing websites by copyright holders, they should immediately remove or disable access to the alleged content. This measure is loosely adapted from the takedown provisions of the DMCA.
- A body of stakeholders will be created who will identify rogue websites that host pirated content and include them in the “Infringing Websites List’ upon verification, which will lead to the following:
- ISPs will remove or disable access to the websites that belong to the IWL. In the UK, this policy requires a high court order even if the website is already present in IWL.
- Since rogue websites earn their revenue through online payments derived from subscription or advertisement revenue models; these will now be routed through payment gateways that do not permit to and fro payments from such websites.
- Search engines are required to remove websites listed in IWL from their search results. There’s no clarity on how this measure will be carried out as it may require foreign companies to comply as well.
- Advertisers and advertising agencies shouldn’t advertise on websites that belong to IWL.
What are your thoughts on the proposed legislation?
Are they effective enough? Do you think that foreign companies will comply with it if necessary? Let us know in the comments below.