Piracy has become one of the biggest issues staring in the face of the industry these days. Not hours after the release of a film, the film has been pirated and is available on the pirate websites. To tackle the same issue, the Indian film and music industry is coming together along with advertisers to form a voluntary code aimed at reducing ad-supported illegal content. Signatories to the code will agree not to advertise on websites that host ‘infringing’ content. The intention is to cut off revenue channels for owners of websites that host pirated content from new movies and albums. A unit of the commerce ministry’s Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade called Cell for IPR Promotion and Management is spearheading the effort for the same.

Google’s advertising programme called Adsense allows the placement of ads that are targeted and relevant to the content of the websites, and when the ads are seen or clicked, the websites automatically earn money. A lot of advertisers are not really aware that their ads are placed on such websites. While Google recently said in a report that it ejects such sites from it’s advertising and payments services, it is still unsure if they will be a part of the voluntary code in India.

Big advertisers including Colgate-Palmolive, Johnson & Johnson and The Walt Disney Company and agencies such as Group M and Mindshare abide by similar guidelines in the US to curb and fight piracy. Similar codes are being followed in Hong Kong and the UK as well.

The industry is taking steps along with the state governments to combat the ever increasing piracy problem. The Government has recently banned over 200 such pirate websites. Fighting piracy isn’t going to be easy as they will keep changing their IP addresses and urls to escape the law enforcement authorities.

Fighting this was never going to be easy but at least we have started taking steps in the right direction and every step that is taken to fight piracy is a big one. With this code, it will choke such websites of their revenue and this just might force them to shut down their sites. In this age of convenience and cheap internet and cheap subscription to streaming sites, hope that people also realize that the more they support the creators, the better entertainment they’ll be able to deliver to them.

By – Amul Vikas Mohan

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