IMI Targets Mobile Content Piracy Via Memory Cards; Maharashtra Piracy Law

CDs are pretty much passe for piracy, and finally the Indian Music Industry (IMI) appears to have woken up to piracy of mobile content – transfers via bluetooth, data cable and mobile cards with content already stored on it. The IMI carried out over 100 raids across India, targeting mobile phone dealers, repair shops, computer/peripheral dealers, game parlours etc. As per the release, the IMI has estimated full song piracy at around Rs. 15 crore annually, valuing royalty for each song at Rs. 5 — which, incidentally, retails for around Rs. 25. They’ve also conducted training programs for police officials. Meanwhile, the state of Maharashtra has included video piracy under the Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities (MPDA) Act, because piracy costs the state tax revenue. MPDA allows preventive detention, and makes piracy a non-bailable offence.

Not that I think all of this is going to have much of an impact on piracy. I’d done a reccie of Delhi’s piracy hubs last month, and both at Palika Bazar and Gaffar Market, content was being pirated openly — apparently in collusion with the police. The labels are probably better off incentivizing the police, rather than training them. Anyway, they will continue to struggle for survival since their model of buying, packaging and reselling content is on its last legs. I’m not sure, however, if the Radiohead experiment of letting us (the users) decide the price of their content will work in India. The album has seen around 1.2 million authorized downloads with users paying and average of $5-$8. Despite letting us choose the price, there were 500,000 unauthorized downloads…are torrents more convenient?

Just wondering: would you “Support The Scene” and pay for content that you can legally also get for free?