Friend MTS leads delegation to tackle India’s digital piracy problem

Friend MTS, the world’s leading provider of platform, channel and content protection services, has led a delegation to India to investigate the country’s escalating problem of digital piracy which costs the Indian film industry billions of dollars every year.

India is not only the biggest film producer in the world making between 1500 and 2000 movies each year, including the cult Bollywood movies, it also has one of the highest rates of broadcast piracy in the world.

Friend MTS, which opened its Indian administration in Chennai earlier this year, gathered senior executives from India’s film production industry, as well as actors and Bollywood stars, to meet with members of its team of anti-piracy technology experts and discuss how the country’s movie piracy problem can be controlled by utilising the company’s ground-breaking technology.

Amongst Friend MTS’ anti-piracy product portfolio is ‘Studio’, which is a service that is designed to identify instances of pirated movies on the internet, and is being used by some of the largest content owners in the world. This service is now available to the biggest movie market in the world in India.

The Indian delegation also included technology experts from market research organisation Frost Sullivan, who unveiled findings of the company’s latest study into digital piracy in India.

In 2012 India was added to an ‘International Piracy Watch List’ by a U.S. government panel looking to highlight countries not taking sufficient action to address high rates of digital piracy. According to a 2013 article in WIPO Magazine (the journal of the World Intellectual Property Organization), the Indian film industry loses around US$3.34 billion and some 60,000 jobs every year because of piracy.

Friend MTS’ Asia operation is led by Rahul Nehra, one of India’s most experienced and successful broadcast technology professionals, who is coordinating the Chennai event. He works with India’s film studios, broadcasters and content owners to help protect them from unauthorised redistribution of their live and premium on-demand content.

Paul Hastings, Friend MTS’ Executive Vice President, Global Sales & Marketing, explains:

Paul Hastings Friend MTS

Paul Hastings, Friend MTS

“India has the highest rate of digital and broadcast piracy in the world and this represents the loss of billions of dollars to the country’s economy and worldwide film industry. As pioneers in the creation and provision of content protection services, already used by many of the world’s Pay-TV operators, rights holders and broadcasters, we want to engage with the country’s movie producers and work with them to effectively fight the increasing threat to the revenue of premium channels and rights holders.

“Our anti-piracy solution Studio represents a huge, potential solution for India’s movie industry and is a true step-change in the fight against Movie piracy. It uses a sophisticated but lightweight fingerprinting technology, coupled with our global monitoring platform and network forensics, to identify and enforce against websites and apps that are being used deliver illegal content.”

Ahead of the forum in Chennai, leading representatives of India’s film industry expressed their optimism about the prospect of a solution to the country’s significant piracy problem.

The Secretary of Tamil Film Producers Council, T Siva, a film producer at Amma Creation, said:

“The industry welcomes these initiatives on digital anti-piracy and believe this will help drive revenue of new and old films alike.”

Film producer Venkat Prabhu commented:

“We are excited at the prospects of having FMTS track and contain on-line piracy for us, and are hopeful this will give us a significant upside in local and global revenues.”

Paul Hastings added:

“By teaming up with our local partner, Rahul Nehra, a well-known face in the Indian broadcast, satellite, content and OTT markets, and growth consultants from Frost Sullivan, the event and our delegation was an unprecedented forum for discussing India’s spiraling digital piracy problems and how together we can work to stop it.”

Media and TV personality Brinda Das, known in Southern India as a leading TV artist and media management specialist, was guest speaker at the Chennai event.

Friend MTS is a leading global provider of platform, channel and content protection services. From fingerprinting and watermarking to advanced subscriber identification, Friend MTS offers a full suite of managed services to help Pay-TV operators, rights holders and broadcasters control where their video content flows.

Rahul Nehra has held positions contributing to the success of blue chip media companies, such as Intelsat, Exset-General Satellite and Latens-Pace, in Asia and across the globe.

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