Films are pirated and shown on videos soon after they are released. Sometimes cassettes of films which have been completed but not yet released can also be had in the open market. The result is that there is poor turn-out of people in cinema theatres. The Government loses revenue in the form of entertainment tax.
The film industry in India is greatly perturbed over the ever-increasing incidence of video piracy which is stated to be eating into its revenues. The Government has taken a number of measures to mitigate the hardships caused to the film industry by the video piracy. These measures are:
(a) Amendment of the Cinematograph Act, 1952 by the Cinematograph (Amendment) Act, 1984 (effective from 27.8.1984) to provide for enhanced and minimum punishment (both imprisonment and fine);
(b) Making the offences already cognisable relating to certification of films as non-bailable also;
(c) Amendment of the Copyright Act, 1957 by Copyright (Amendment) Act, 1984 (effective from 8.10.1984) to provide for enhanced and minimum punishment for various types of offences under the Act. The offences relating to infringement of copyright in a work have become cognisable and non-bailable.
In reality, people in cities and towns have become very crazy to see video shows. A video is no doubt an instant remedy for urban boredom. One can just watch a video film in the comfort of one’s own home at any convenient time. One need not take the trouble of hiring a conveyance to go to a cinema theatre, stand in a queue at the booking office and if the film is drawing a big rush one need not run the risk of being denied a ticket and confronted with the sign of “House Full”.
Video has come to stay. When this medium is gaining popularity throughout the world, its growth cannot be curbed in India. Video has ushered in a new era of entertainment. If we look at this development from a dispassionate angle, we will find that video supplements the efforts of the film industry to provide entertainment to the people. It is not a substitute for the film industry. The film industry should not, therefore, look upon video as its rival. There is no reason why both cannot flourish side by side.