Bollywood piracy fighters take battle to US Congress

WASHINGTON, April 21, 2008 (AFP) – Campaigners against piracy in India’s money-spinning entertainment industry, which loses four billion dollars a year to counterfeiters, have taken their battle to the US Congress. “We are losing 90 percent of our home video market in the United States,” veteran Indian filmmaker Bobby Bedi told AFP at a Capitol Hill event where he and others Monday highlighted the seriousness of piracy in developing nations.

Bedi lamented that American enforcement agencies were not forceful enough in helping plug losses suffered by the Indian entertainment industry in the United States, where he said counterfeit Indian movies were being peddled mostly by mini retail stores.

“We feel that we should get the same treatment as American producers should get as far as intellectual property is concerned,” he said at the event, held in conjunction with World Intellectual Property Day to be marked on Saturday.

A recent study prepared for the US Indian Business Council by global accounting firm Ernst and Young showed that India’s burgeoning entertainment industry lost as much as four billion dollars and 800,000 direct jobs each year due to counterfeiting and piracy.

The study was commissio