| 13 Jul 2024
Copyright can unleash India's Creative and Economic Potential

MUMBAI: Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FICCI), in association with Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) organized an interactive session on the future of ‘Copyright and the Creative Economy’, in Mumbai. The discussions focused on emerging trends and concerns relating to copyright, the capacity of the Indian creative sector to fuel the economic growth along with the role of a regulator in rebuilding India’s creative strengths.

The size of the Indian creative economy is expected to reach USD 34.8 billion by 2021(FICCI EY Report – Digital inflexion point: Indian Media and Entertainment, 2017). India's media and entertainment (M&E) industry is set to grow at a faster pace of 10.55 per cent CAGR, outshining the global average of 4.2 per cent CAGR, according to consulting firm PwC. In its annual sector forecast for 2017-2021, PwC said the Indian M&E sector will touch $45.1 billion by 2021, up from $27.3 billion at the end of 2016.

This potential can however, only be tapped if backed by a conducive regulatory framework which incentivizes creativity.

Reiterating the need for a well-regulated copyright regime in the country, Government of India Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademark O.P. Gupta said, “DIPP has recently assumed the responsibility of Copyright law. Our priority is to streamline the process and decrease the turn-around time for applications on IPR. Currently, it takes about 16 to 18 months to close an application or assess discrepancies. We target to decrease this pipeline to less than three months.”

He further added, “While the law is in the right direction, it is the mindset of the people that needs to evolve. To address this issue the DIPP is proactively taking steps to create awareness. To amiably change mindsets, we are rolling out programs with school and college children.”

In 2016, the National IPR Policy brought the administration of copyright under the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion and highlighted the intrinsic linkages between commercialization, consumer choice and creativity. Most recently, the Copyright Act was amended by the Finance Act, 2017 to subsume the Copyright Board within the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) that also oversees aspects of trademark and patents.

Star India president and head, content studio Gaurav Banerjee emphasized on the need for building a case for authorship. He said, “A platform like ours has the reach to over 700 million users, and the degree of engagement is for over three hours a day. However, what are we making of this opportunity? Rather than treating television, films as fleeting fancies of youngsters, we must create a stable and lucrative model that will enable ‘power of ideas’ and commercial success that is rewarding and sustainable.” He called out the need for big-ticket reforms and sustained a pace of policy change and control to leverage technological advancements in gaming, animation, design and other creative services.

In his welcome address, FICCI Deputy Secretary General Arun Chawla emphasized on the need to strike a balance between the access to the creative knowledge and entertainment along with the rewards for the copyright holders. This need is recognized as a global challenge which has shaken the business models of pre-digital creative industries.

The Copyright issue poses different degrees of challenges for various sectors with M&E. The industry which is recession proof, and enables over 7.5 million jobs directly and indirectly, is often seen from the narrow lenses of protection against piracy.

Necessitating an ecosystem approach towards the creative economy’s growth and regulation, wherein the distinctions between content and carriage are delineated and the intrinsic and positive relationship between them is understood by industry and government alike, is still debatable.

The internet has also emerged as a new area for the enforcement of copyright. Responses to digital piracy like rights information management and encryption have in turn raised several concerns with regards to privacy, cyber security and the freedom of speech and expression.

FICCI is intensively involved in issues pertaining to the protection of Intellectual Property Rights and its effective enforcement. The chamber has also been taking a lead role in raising awareness of copyright and other forms of Intellectual Property rights, at a national level.