The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Ficci task force to fight piracy

New Delhi, Oct. 13: In order to curb the menace of piracy, industry associations under the aegis of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) have formed a national intellectual property rights (IPR) taskforce.

Industry bodies like Nasscom, Business for Software Alliance, Indian Music Industry, Film Producers Guild of India and the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance have come together to fight piracy and counterfeiting.

Amarchand Mangaldas, the chamber’s knowledge partner, will provide legal help to the taskforce in its effort to create awareness amongst policymakers, legislators and the judiciary.

Specific sub-groups have been constituted under the taskforce. Former Prime Minister I. K. Gujral and Justice B. . Kirpal are the patron in chief and the patron of the legal sub-group, respectively.

The group will look into the issue of experience and knowledge-sharing with enforcement and other agencies of the government and the state.

World wide, countries rely heavily on intellectual capital to fuel economic growth. “Intellectual property (IP) industries are making significant contributions to economies by generating investment, providing jobs and tax revenues,” said Ficci secretary general Amit Mitra. “While contributions from IP industries are growing, so is intellectual property theft and piracy,” he added.

According to industry sources, the film and music industry loses around Rs 2,000 crore and Rs 700 crore, respectively, each year due to piracy in India. The piracy rate in relation to business software has risen steadily from 61 per cent in 1999 to 70 per cent in 2002. According to eighth annual BSA Global Software Study-2003, India currently ranks as the sixth worst country in the Asia Pacific region in the incidence of software piracy.

The taskforce wants the judiciary to participate in this effort in order to communicate the seriousness of the offence of dishonouring the rights attached to intellectual property. On the enforcement side, the taskforce will educate the police and IAS officers.

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