The Telugu film industry, the second largest in India after Bollywood, has bolstered its defences against pirated content, by entering into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

The MoU envisages waging a joint war against video piracy, apart from exchanging best practices. It may be recalled that the Andhra Pradesh Film Chamber of Commerce (APFCC) was the first in the country to set up an Anti-Video Piracy Cell (AVPC) in 2005 with the State Government’s support.

With the onset of online piracy, the AVPC began monitoring internet activity 24/7. The anti-piracy body has achieved moderate success, with professionals tracking content including new film songs and the like and cracking the pirates using Internet Protocol numbers.

The MPAA’s six member companies include Paramount Pictures Corporation, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox film Corporation, Universal City Studios, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures and Warner Bros. Entertainment. The APFCC’s MoU was achieved through MPAA’s Indian arm, the Motion Picture Distributors Association (India) with the objective of protecting content and intellectual property.

At an interactive session, Michael D. Robinson, Executive Vice-President, Contention Protection and Chief of Operations of the MPAA and Edward B. Neubronner, Vice-President and Regional Operations Officer, Asia-Pacific for the Motion Picture Association International underscored the need for cooperation across the borders of the East and West.

They recalled a U.S. - India Business Council/Ernst & Young 2008 report on ‘the Effects of Counterfeiting and Piracy on India’s Entertainment Industry’ and said the Indian film industry had lost U.S. $ 959 million in revenue and 5,71,896 jobs due to piracy.

The APFCC was represented by its President, D. Suresh Babu and producer Allu Arvind, while Chairman of the AVPC’s Governing Council, Rajkumar made a presentation on anti-piracy activities here, outlining the way forward and strategies to be adopted in the global war against piracy.