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Viacom18 takes criminal action against ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’ piracy

NEW DELHI: Media and entertainment conglomerate Viacom18 Media Pvt Ltd has taken criminal action against illegal uploading and distribution of its recent title Laal Singh Chaddha in an incident that happened in Bengaluru. Such websites cause huge losses to the producers, content owners and creators by virtue of their illegal acts, Viacom18 said in a statement, adding that this arrest could lead to the unfolding of larger pirate rackets and the wrongdoers may be brought to justice.

“Viacom18 pledges its continuous support in the fight against piracy. We shall continue our endeavour to create a secure and piracy free space. It is important to take proactive measures to prevent piracy or infringement. We believe it is even more important to be involved and actively participate in the execution process to give effect to the larger interest we are trying to achieve,” Anil Lale, Viacom18’s general counsel, said in a statement.

Online film piracy increased by 62% in India in the last week of March 2020, compared to the last week of February, according to digital piracy authority MUSO. Figures for other countries were a 41% increase in the US, 43% in the UK, 50% in Spain and 66% in Italy, said MUSO.

Media experts point to messaging and voice services such as Telegram and social networks like Helo, which understand the concerns of filmmakers and intellectual property right owners but are also hungry for traffic and do not have adequate protective mechanisms in place. Indians ranked third in the world in accessing piracy websites in 2021, with 6.5 billion visits driven in part by lockdown-induced stay-at-home norms and the digital pivot.

The US is number one and Russia ranked second, according to a report by Akamai Technologies, a cybersecurity and cloud service company.

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