International film, music, software producers laud Pakistan government's copyright efforts
Karachi, May 20 2005
International music, film and software producers have commended the Pakistan government for taking urgently-needed actions to curb the mass-scale violation of copyright in the country.
"Pakistan is showing that it takes seriously the need to address its severe levels of copyright piracy," said a joint press statement issued by senior representatives of International Federation of Phonographic Industry (IFPI), Business Software Alliance (BSA) and Motion Picture Association (MPA).
"We applaud the Pakistan government’s efforts in strongly protecting the intellectual property of musicians, film makers and software developers and believe this will be of great benefit to the country," the statement said.
The response follows administrative reforms and strict enforcement actions announced by the government in recent weeks.
The Pakistan Intellectual Property Rights Organization (PIPRO) has been created to oversee copyright, trademark and patent protection issues. The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) arrested nine people and confiscated more than 400,000 pirate CDs, DVDs and audio cassettes, along with 10,000 Master Discs (stampers) in the course of closing down six illegal optical disc plants around Karachi.
"We urge the authorities to maintain the pressure on those who seek to profit from the creativity of others and who hold back the development of the country's domestic talent," the joint statement said. The three industries were represented by Willem van Adrichem, Regional Coordinator IFPI, Al Redha, Co-Chairman, BSA Middle East and Mary Callahan, Director Optical Disk Operations, Worldwide Anti-Piracy, the Motion Picture Association (MPA).
There are a number of talented creative professionals in the country, but foreign investment that could help bolster these industries is undermined by the pirates, they said.
Willem van Adrichem said, "Pakistan has become one of the largest manufacturers of pirate discs in the world - producing over 230 million discs in 2004, of which the vast majority was exported to at least 46 countries worldwide."
A significant blow to the pirate activity in the country would encourage the local music industry, where many companies have closed their businesses due to piracy, he said. The IFPI represents the recording industry worldwide with over 1,450 members in more than 75 countries.
Al Redha of the BSA stressed that optical disc piracy is a major threat to the software sector. He said, "Pakistan can attract a lot of foreign investment from BSA’s member companies, if piracy is properly tackled."
He said piracy yields profits to the few at the expense of losses to the many creative professionals, besides harming consumers with poor quality software. BSA represents the world’s leading software companies and operates in over 80 countries.
Mary Callahan of the MPA said: "The continued copyright protection will go a long way in promoting the Pakistani film industry, whose survival is at stake due to the losses incurred from freely available copies of unauthorized videos, CDs and DVDs."
She said movie making is a fairly risky business as not all the films are hits at the box office. Piracy further discourages the film studios and that reduces the number of films produced for the local market.
The representatives of the three copyright industries also commended the FIA for its professionalism in handling the investigation against the six illegal discs plants.
For further information please contact Adrian Strain or Fiona Harley at IFPI tel: +44 (0)20 7878 7900 or Willem Van Adrichem on (mobile) +971 505511754