Staff Reporter

Seized pirated compact discs and digital video discs destroyed by school children

Call for change in the way country handles intellectual property and its ownershipShabana Azmi moots the idea of including information on prevalence and prevention of film piracy

NEW DELHI: Aimed at drawing attention of Delhiites to the piracy menace, Bollywood actress and social activist Shabana Azmi on Saturday along with students of a prominent school crushed seized pirated compact discs and digital video discs under a road-roller as part of an anti-piracy campaign launched here.Over a thousand pirated CDs and DVDs of films were destroyed as part of the campaign launched by the Motion Picture Association at Modern School, Barakhamba Road.

Speaking on the occasion, Ms. Azmi called for a sea change in the way the country and its education system had traditionally handled the subject of intellectual property and its ownership. Stating that films were a product for which people had to pay, Ms. Azmi said: "There is nothing innocent about piracy. The need of the hour is a pledge and a vow to beat piracy where it stands. It is important to understand that any creation of the mind like a film or a poem should be treated just as preciously as material property is treated."

Strongly condemning film and video piracy, Ms. Azmi mooted the idea of including information on prevalence and prevention of film piracy as well as a fundamental respect for the intellectual property rights in school curricula. Asserting that there was documented evidence to prove that film piracy was the largest contributor of organised crime, terrorism, prostitution and money laundering, Ms. Azmi said: "The person who sells pirated CDs makes a profit of up to 800 per cent. The pirate pays back nothing to artistes, who toil hard to make the movie. We enjoy the fruits of labour of one group and pay a totally unrelated group. We make 800 films a year, twice the number made in Hollywood but nine out of 10 movies lose money due to piracy." On the occasion, a signature campaign was also launched to create public awareness about the issue that will be taken to other parts of the country.