Govt’s anti-piracy push under scrutiny

The initiative addresses theatrical piracy, but raises concerns as it excludes OTT content and premium live broadcasting

NEW DELHI : The government move to assign nodal officers to combat movie piracy is well-intentioned, but experts expressed scepticism, anticipating a gradual impact amid operational challenges.

The initiative addresses theatrical piracy, but raises concerns as it excludes OTT content and premium live broadcasting, offering limited relief to broadcasters and streaming platforms.

The legal head of a film studio, seeking anonymity, questioned the practicality of the move. “On paper, the initiative provides a glimmer of hope to entertainment firms for action against piracy within 48 hours. But as with any new process, the people involved may not have immediate understanding of what is to be done, and several operational challenges will have to be ironed out.”

According to experts, ambiguity on follow-up actions and handling of content acquired from external sources could pose concerns for production houses. The potential financial burden on production houses is a concern as they might need to shift from engaging private anti-piracy agencies to dealing with nodal officers.

Vinay Butani, a partner at Economic Laws Practice, said content removal within the mandated 48 hours may be an issue due to the sheer volume of complaints, and the limited number of nodal officers. “This could be further exacerbated by the absence of control over the content on streaming platforms,” he added.

“The same level of control does not extend to content on streaming platforms, potentially incentivising piracy, as users can freely disseminate this material on the internet without legal repercussions.”

The task is indeed specialized, and India’s law enforcement agencies have enough resources, but sensitizing and training existing personnel to swiftly and urgently handle complaints is key, said Gaurav Sahay, partner, SNG & Partners, Advocates & Solicitors.

The focus on Central Board of Film Certification-approved films is a challenge for broadcasters battling unauthorized airing of premium live events or sports tournaments by local cable operators, said a senior executive of a broadcast network. “At ground level, there is no coordination with officers who either move on from their roles or don’t have the time or expertise to take action.”

It is a positive step in safeguarding copyright and content creators’ interests, but is not devoid of practical challenges, Meghna Mishra, partner, Karanjawala & Co, said. “Piracy involves sites hosted in various countries, necessitating international cooperation. Nodal officers may need technological expertise to collaborate with forensics, cybersecurity, and IP law experts to track down pirates effectively.”

The complex and jurisdiction-dependent legal framework for tackling piracy adds another layer of complexity, mandating that these officers be well-versed in copyright laws and legal procedures. To prevent potential misuse, nodal officers must also establish mechanisms to screen and filter out false or malicious complaints, Mishra pointed out.

Internship & Articleship

[contact-form-7 id="1843" title="Internships/Paralegals"]


By proceeding further and clicking on the “I ACCEPT” button below, you acknowledge that you of your own accord wish to know more about SNG & Partners (“The Firm”) for your own information and use. You further acknowledge that there has been no solicitation, invitation or inducement of any sort whatsoever from SNG & Partners or any of its employees, partners, associates or members to create an attorney-client relationship through this website. You further acknowledge having read and understood this Disclaimer.

This website is a resource for informational purposes only and is intended, but not promised or guaranteed, to be correct, complete, and up-to-date. While SNG & Partners has taken utmost care to ensure accuracy and completeness of the information contained on this website, the Firm does not warrant that the information contained on this website is accurate or complete, and hereby disclaims any and all liability for any loss or damage caused or alleged to have been caused to any person by relying on any information contained on this website. The contents of this website should not be construed as an opinion, legal or otherwise, on any issue or subject. 

SNG & Partners further assumes no liability for the interpretation and/or use of the information contained in this website, nor does it offer a warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied. The owner of this website does not intend links from this site to other Internet websites to be referrals to, endorsements of, or affiliations with the linked entities. The Firm is not responsible for, and makes no representations or warranties about the contents of websites to which links may be provided from this website.

Furthermore, the owner of this website does not wish to represent anyone desiring representation based solely upon viewing this website or in a Country/State where this website fails to comply with local laws and ethical rules of that state. You may note that the use of the internet or email for conveying confidential or sensitive information is susceptible to risks of disclosure associated with sending email over the internet.

The Firm advises against the use of the communication platform provided on this website for exchange of any confidential, business or politically sensitive information. User is expected to use his or her judgment and such information shared will be solely at the user’s risk.

Communication through this website in any form shall be for the purpose of enquiries only and shall not hold good for service of any kind of court proceedings, summons, advance notice, pleadings etc. For service of any such document and/or notice to the Firm and/or to any of its partners under the act or rules including under CPC, Cr. PC and/or any other law shall be served at our concerned office or to the concerned advocate dealing with the matter.