Indian film industry wants more awareness over film piracy

MUMBAI, August 22, 2010 (AFP) – Ashish is a senior executive in the financial sector in the home of Bollywood, Mumbai. He earns a good wage, lives in an upmarket neighbourhood and sees himself as a decent, law-abiding citizen. But like many Indians, the 49-year-old sees nothing wrong with buying the latest Hindi-language and Hollywood films for just a fraction of their market value — or nothing at all.

“A guy used to come to my house and sell DVDs which each had about four or five films on them. I used to get them for just 150 to 200 rupees (three to four dollars),” Ashish, who asked for his real name not to be used, told AFP.

“Then I found out from friends that they were getting films for a third of the price, so I stopped. Now I just download them from the Internet. Why should I pay for them if they’re available free of charge?”

The scale of the illicit trade in pirated films is a major cause for concern among leading figures in India’s entertainment industry, who say black market copies are hitting revenues as the sector looks to recover from a slump.

They want to change the attitudes of Ashish and people like him, who flock to roadside stalls or markets across India to buy the latest releases at a