US Chamber Of Commerce: Bollywood Is So Successful Without Strong Copyrights That It Will Fail Unless India Strengthens Its Copyrights

from the wtf? dept

The US Chamber of Commerce, the giant lobbying organization who led the fight for SOPA/PIPA, is apparently so invested in "must have stronger copyright laws" that it doesn't even bother making sense any more. It's released a bizarre statement claiming that India needs stronger copyright laws, because Bollywood is so successful. Right upfront, it notes how successful things have been:
Boasting the largest film industry in the world, the creative sector lies at the heart of the Indian culture and economy. As one of India’s largest employment sectors, an endless array of local professionals from technical, theatrical, and creative backgrounds are helping churn out 1,000 films in more than 20 languages annually.
You'd think those are signs that copyright law was working (largest film industry in the world, largest employment sectors, over 1,000 films produced annually -- about double Hollywood) and that this would imply that whatever level of copyright there is in India -- which is supposed to be an incentive to creativity -- was doing a decent job. But, no, apparently it's all broken.
The government, however, must improve national intellectual property (IP) laws and enforcement if it is going to seize on this opportunity and gain recognition in the global market and further empower local creators.
Hmm. Wait, you just said that it's the world's largest film industry and an unqualified success. So, why does it need to improve those laws and enforcement?
Specifically, Indian copyright law is unclear with the 2012 Copyright Act amendments further complicating and contradicting previous rule of law. Furthermore, the 2012 Act provides for broad exceptions that are incompatible with international norms. Also measuring relatively loware enforcement efforts, which are weak in application and don’t provide widely available civil and procedural remedies for copyright infringement.
And, yet, this laxity incentivized the creation of nearly double the films that Hollywood produces. Perhaps -- and I'm just suggesting things here -- the "international norms" and the higher levels of enforcement are holding back the industries elsewhere. If anything, this report seems to suggest that other countries should move towards broad exceptions, since it appears to have been quite successful in India.

Furthermore, much of the paper seems to suggest that India needs to fix its copyright laws to embrace the international opportunity for its films -- but that (again) makes no sense. India's IP laws don't apply outside of India, so they have no impact on the international opportunities, which are governed by other IP laws. And, again, if the industry is doing great in India (with little enforcement and greater exceptions), doesn't this indicate that India should push for the same elsewhere to better embrace that international opportunity?

It's quite a world in which the US Chamber of Commerce seems to be arguing that an example of a success story should lead to that successful model emulating less successful markets. I don't know how much money the MPAA pays the US Chamber of Commerce for these kinds of pieces, but it's not getting its money's worth.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Jun 18th, 2013 @ 1:03pm

    And of course if they did adopt 'international norms' as far as copyright went, and in turn saw sales and creation take a dive, they would, without a doubt, blame piracy, rather than the stifling effects of those same IP laws they cherish so much.

    Personally I'm guessing they are either trying to get rid of a competitor by bringing it down to hollywood levels, and/or get rid of a perfect example that proves that more copyright enforcement with stricter laws isn't the way to more creation and sales, and instead it's the direct opposite.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 1:08pm

    nor is anyone else, the public in particular, but no one cares anyway. as long as the US entertainment industries get their own way, fucking up as much as possible for as many as possible, it doesn't care either! one of these days someone is actually going to realise exactly what a disaster the USCoC is for everyone everywhere, including the USA, that someone is going to dismember it!

     

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  3.  
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    Zakida Paul (profile), Jun 18th, 2013 @ 1:09pm

    Bollywood is successful precisely because they do NOT have strong copyright protections.

    I don't know where the US Chamber of Commerce pulls their logic (or lack thereof) from.

     

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  4.  
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    Zakida Paul (profile), Jun 18th, 2013 @ 1:09pm

    I think it may be jealousy. Bollywood on the rise, Hollywood (apparently) on the decline.

     

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  5.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Jun 18th, 2013 @ 1:11pm

    Re:

    That would be their bank accounts and the people paying them to act as PR men.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 1:13pm

    It's pure jealousy, and nothing more. Hollywood is jealous that they aren't involved in the filming of "Breakin' II: Electric Vindaloo".

     

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  7.  
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    Zakida Paul (profile), Jun 18th, 2013 @ 1:13pm

    Re: Re:

    I was thinking "their arses"

     

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    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 1:17pm

    Hey, Mike: India has 1,210,193,422 people! Should be FOUR times Hollywood!

    If Hollywood produces half the products, then it's actually TWICE as productive as India!

    Basic economics is that larger numbers of people produce more, but it's not necessarily linear, and that figure is called "productivity". What the hell did you DO in college, anyway, that missed elementary knowledge?

    Therefore your argument falls flat as usual.

     

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  9.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jun 18th, 2013 @ 1:18pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Same thing.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 1:21pm

    More than just jealousy

    It's also Hollywood's genuine anger that there's a market that's succeeding without their control. Their globalist agenda feels incomplete when even one segment operates in a way they don't like, whether it's an irrelevant country in the middle of Africa or one of Asia's largest and most prosperous countries.

     

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  11.  
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    Lord Binky, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 1:26pm

    Re: Hey, Mike: India has 1,210,193,422 people! Should be FOUR times Hollywood!

    By that logic, if one person produces 5 one hour films (that happen to be complete crap, but hey there was an explosion scene) every day is he more productive than all of hollywood. That might not seem right, because it's a stupid way to quantify things.

    Just because you produce a turd every day doesn't make you productive or mean you produced anything of value. *sigh* I got caught in another troll trap didn't I?

     

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  12. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    out_of_the_blue, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 1:27pm

    Also, compare amounts of money, particularly international.

    You won't of course, just vaporizes your assertions.

    Perhaps Chamber of Commerce is tactfully alluding to Bollywood's low productivity and low rates of return on investment and showing how those can be brought UP. -- I'm sure to be talking over your head with that last item, since you believe that "sunk (or fixed) costs" for making movies can be totally ignored.

     

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  13. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 1:31pm

    Re: Re: Hey, Mike: India has 1,210,193,422 people! Should be FOUR times Hollywood!

    @ "Binky": "Just because you produce a turd every day doesn't make you productive or mean you produced anything of value. *sigh* I got caught in another troll trap didn't I?"


    No, you just made an ass of yourself by trying to argue against sheer fact. Four times the population should -- if the simplistic measure that Mike makes is valid -- mean four times the production. It's not. Hollwood produces TWICE as much per person, roughly.

    Myopic Mike bamboozled you again. You guys are pretty feeble to continue to fall for his line, when it's EASILY disproved.

    And see my later. I didn't even bother getting to money value.

     

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  14.  
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    David Muir (profile), Jun 18th, 2013 @ 1:34pm

    Read the comments on this Reddit piece: http://www.reddit.com/r/Screenwriting/comments/1gj3fv/hollywoods_completely_broken/

    The ones I found especially telling: those comments that describe firsthand how top heavy the wealth concentration is in Hollywood. Clinging to what they have and trying to get more is what drives the "leaders". In fact, they are not leading anywhere but down.

    I would love to know more about the wealth and revenue distribution in Bollywood. My guess is that it is less lucrative on a per production basis, but more evenly distributed. Again a guess: since the pie is much bigger, smaller slices are just fine.

     

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  15.  
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    Zakida Paul (profile), Jun 18th, 2013 @ 1:38pm

    Re:

    "how top heavy the wealth concentration is in Hollywood"

    Just like the rest of society

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 1:39pm

    Re: Hey, Mike: India has 1,210,193,422 people! Should be FOUR times Hollywood!

    Basic economics is that larger numbers of people produce more, but it's not necessarily linear

    Yet you insist on using a linear calculation in declaring what the situation "should" be.Basic economics is that larger numbers of people produce more, but it's not necessarily linear

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 1:43pm

    Success is Failure, Failure is Success

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 1:52pm

    HUH? SAY WHAT?.... It's either I'm getting dumber and dumber for whatever reason the US Chamber of Commerce thinks it's getting wiser and wiser....

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 1:55pm

    Great post, you really reveal the hypocrisy and illogic in this one.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 2:01pm

    OK, someone help me out here...

    This is a report by the US Chamber of Commerce, about laws that India needs.

    Can someone help me out here... shouldn't the US Chamber of Commerce be talking about - oh I don't know - laws the US needs?

    What business do they have telling another country, in another contintent, what laws they need?

     

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  21.  
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    TheLastCzarnian (profile), Jun 18th, 2013 @ 2:03pm

    Re:

    Is that a Red Dwarf reference?

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 2:04pm

    Can we just make pro-copyright lunacy illegal? That would be greeeeeeeeeat.

     

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  23.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Jun 18th, 2013 @ 2:15pm

    Re: OK, someone help me out here...

    You forget, US government/corporate(not that there's much of a difference these days) thinking is that every country should do what the US tells them, with two of those 'suggestions' being 'never compete with US interests', and 'never make US law look bad by providing counter-examples', something that Bollywood is currently doing quite well.

     

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  24.  
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    Keroberos (profile), Jun 18th, 2013 @ 2:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Hey, Mike: India has 1,210,193,422 people! Should be FOUR times Hollywood!

    Four times the population should -- if the simplistic measure that Mike makes is valid -- mean four times the production.
    No, Population size has very little to do with market size. Anyone that understands even the most basic of economic principles knows that production of goods in a market is tied the the ability of that market to consume it. Excessive overproduction leads to market crashes. I don't see anywhere in the article where Mike measured India's film industry against anything. He used the only valid measure in economics; India's film industry seems to be successful and profitable at its current production levels. He used a comparison of the numbers of films produced in India vs. the number made in the US to help illustrate that point.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 2:23pm

    Re: OK, someone help me out here...

    The US corporations and government think that they should rule the world.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 2:31pm

    Re: OK, someone help me out here...

    The Chamber of Commerce is not the Department of Commerce.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 2:45pm

    Don't miss the post that Mike is desperate to censor: http://is.gd/5gjxqa

    Why's he so scared of dissenting views? Hmm...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 3:11pm

    Re:

    Hey Less than average Joe, why wrong you show proof that you do not cheat on your exams?

    You can use your weasel words, but you still have not shown any proof that you do not cheat on all of your exams. What are you scared of, what have you got to hide?

    Went wont you answer my simple questions?

    I Guess this means that I win.

    You are to gutless to show proof.

    Go back to your Mommies basement and try to find a life you loser.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
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    ECA (profile), Jun 18th, 2013 @ 3:22pm

    Question

    "copyright law is unclear with the 2012 Copyright Act amendments further complicating and contradicting previous rule of law. Furthermore, the 2012 Act provides for broad exceptions that are incompatible with international norms."

    WHAT NORMS?? THERE WERE/ARE no normality between most of the countries..NOT even RUSSIA acknowledges the USA copy rights..
    Where is that 301 list?? THAT is the list that says WHAt countries do not accept our LAWS..

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 3:32pm

    Re: Re:

    "Wrong" should have been won't

    Typing on a smartphone

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 3:32pm

    Re: Re:

    "Wrong" should have been won't

    Typing on a smartphone

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 3:35pm

    It's so cute how the sockpuppets come out to refute it, but no one can actually address the merits. Don't miss the link that Mike so desperately wants you not to see: http://rdd.me/e9cd9hqe

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 3:42pm

    Re:

    Where is your proof that you do not cheat on your exams less-than-average-Joe?

    To scared of me to show proof?

    Go on, run away again. Coward

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Automatic Grammatizator, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 3:49pm

    Re:

    Isn't it illegal to stalk people to the degree you do?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    IDAR, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 4:09pm

    At first read, I did not to find any issues with your piece, Mike, if I may call you by your first name. However, on second read, I noticed the words "this opportunity" in the quote you pulled out of Chamber's statement. This phrase seemed unconnected with anything you quoted. So I reluctantly opened their statement myself, and lo and behold, in context, this phrase actually makes sense. This is what was omitted from your quote:

    With a young population where over half a billion people are under 25 years old, Bollywood as well as Hollywood are experiencing growth that may be far outpacing the Indian economy. With an eager and growing workforce and multiplying diaspora overseas, creative content may edge its way up to be India’s greatest export.

    The government, however, must improve national intellectual property (IP) laws and enforcement if it is going to seize on this opportunity and gain recognition in the global market and further empower local creators.


    The opportunity is expansion into international markets. Also, the push for adoption of international norms makes sense now. Of course their statement could have absolutely no merit. This statement could be mistaken as well for some reason I can't figure out because I lack the required knowledge in the relevant laws and past precedents.

    That being said, I don't think you can allow yourself to take the easy path here and simply label what they said as making no sense. So far I have read with delight your posts and your analyses generally seemed perfectly reasonable to me. I can't wait for your discussion of their actual message, and not the surely-inadvertent straw man you erected instead.

     

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  36.  
    identicon
    wombaroo, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 4:42pm

    Re:

    Pirating is so rampant in Australia that film and TV shows production is going gangbusters. Info is half way down the page.
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-06-18/majority-of-locally-made-australian-television-content- is-news/4763810
    So we had better stop all this free advertising for these shows and kill the industry. The entertainment industry needs more censorship of their products, that way less people will see them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 5:09pm

    Would someone PLEASE think of the popcorn farmers ?!!!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
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    Zem, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 5:16pm

    Re: OK, someone help me out here...

    shouldn't the US Chamber of Commerce be talking about - oh I don't know - laws the US needs?

    Actually they should be talking about laws the US DOESN'T NEED.

     

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  39.  
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    The Real Michael, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 6:01pm

    Re:

    Bollywood is successful WITHOUT lobbying for a brutally excessive copyright laws. Their film industry is effectively DOUBLE the size of Hollywood.

    Obviously they're doing things all wrong.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Jun 18th, 2013 @ 6:22pm

    Re:

    "Don't miss the post that Mike is desperate to censor"

    Woman is 53 but looks 27!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 6:34pm

    Re: Hey, Mike: India has 1,210,193,422 people! Should be FOUR times Hollywood!

    Once again you prove to have your priorities mixed up. Not everyone in India is dedicated to cocksucking the local entertainment industries unlike you.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 7:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Hey, Mike: India has 1,210,193,422 people! Should be FOUR times Hollywood!

    "No, you just made an ass of yourself by trying to argue against sheer fact."

    Sheer fact, Blinky, Sheer Fact. [citation needed]

     

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  43. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 7:33pm

    See the post that over 200 people on TD have seen. See the post that mike desperately doesn't want anyone to see. He's so desperate to hide this that he's blocking IPs, keywords, titles, and links.

    Mike hates this post so much that he's going out of his way to censor it: http://tr.im/44w44

    the next edition will be out very soon.

    How hard will he work to hide that from you too?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
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    Rekrul, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 9:17pm

    What this report needs is a blatant Kali reference and several musical numbers.

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 11:04pm

    Re:

    How exactly are you defining successful? Numbers? Are you aware of what the population of India is?

    Go try watching a random current movie that's made there. They're comically horrid.

     

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  46.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jun 19th, 2013 @ 12:03am

    Re: Re:

    "How exactly are you defining successful? Numbers?"

    Yes, isn't that how you define success for American movies? Are you now moving the goalposts because the results don't match your agenda, or are you going to finally give us an objective means to measure whether something is successful?

    "They're comically horrid."

    Sorry, your personal tastes don't matter when assessing the output of a foreign culture. Let me guess, you're one of those people who think that your personal taste dictates everything that should be made?

    They're certainly lower budget than American movies, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Most American output is crap, and there's enough people watching these things outside of India to demonstrate that there's a market even if you don't like them (e.g. Bollywood movies regularly break the top 10 in the UK, despite never being press screened or even shown outside of certain cities).

     

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  47.  
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    Niall (profile), Jun 19th, 2013 @ 4:03am

    Re: Re:

    The same could be said of a lot of US output.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
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    Niall (profile), Jun 19th, 2013 @ 4:04am

    Re: Re:

    Yes, but when you compare the average income in India with the US, plus what percentage of the population have access to movies, I suspect that Bollywood can only do better in its current format.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
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    Niall (profile), Jun 19th, 2013 @ 4:15am

    Re:

    I hadn't noticed Bollywood having any issues getting into international markets where there is a strong Indian sub-continental presence - Bollywood films aren't too hard to find here in the UK, for instance, albeit I'm sure that's only a fraction of the output.

    And any country producing such gems as 'Jersey Shore' cannot possibly complain about the local output of any other country!

    Disclaimer: I know the UK has 'The Only Way Is Essex' (TOWIE).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
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    Niall (profile), Jun 19th, 2013 @ 4:16am

    Re:

    And a Temple of Doom and a bullwhip!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
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    Anonymous Howard (profile), Jun 19th, 2013 @ 4:21am

    Re: Re:

    Because the latest hollywood "masterpieces" aren't comically horrid, propagandist, simplistic eyecandy movies. /s

    Also, larger population do not necessary mean larger market for movies, at least not in a linear relationship like ootb suggested below.

     

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  52.  
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    Anonymous Howard (profile), Jun 19th, 2013 @ 4:26am

    Re: OK, someone help me out here...

    I was thinking of the same question. But then it occurred to me that the US is doing this all the time.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2013 @ 5:07am

    Re: Also, compare amounts of money, particularly international.

    Perhaps the purpose of copyright is not maximize rates of return on investment and laws should be analyzed with eye towards benefiting the public by promoting the arts and sciences. -- I'm sure to be talking over your head with that last item, since you believe copyright is some kind of inalienable natural right and the public benefits can be totally ignored.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Jun 19th, 2013 @ 9:58am

    Re: Re:

    We're getting regular theatrical runs of Indian films here in Kansas City.

    The idea that an industry is growing rapidly and that they need to change their laws to help that growth are at odds with each other. Obviously if there is rapid growth, the laws are working just fine.

    I guess US Chamber's idea is that their growth would be even bigger. Considering it has long been the biggest film market in the world, whatever it's doing, it's doing it right and we should be changing our laws to match their norms.

    Of course, we would never let other countries set the example for us.

     

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  55.  
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    nasch (profile), Jun 19th, 2013 @ 5:21pm

    Re:

    The opportunity is expansion into international markets.

    If you read a little further...

    "Furthermore, much of the paper seems to suggest that India needs to fix its copyright laws to embrace the international opportunity for its films -- but that (again) makes no sense. India's IP laws don't apply outside of India, so they have no impact on the international opportunities, which are governed by other IP laws. And, again, if the industry is doing great in India (with little enforcement and greater exceptions), doesn't this indicate that India should push for the same elsewhere to better embrace that international opportunity? "

     

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  56.  
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    Nishant Srivastava, Sep 5th, 2013 @ 6:57am

    Copyrights in Bollywood

    Bollywood is such a large industry and if you include whole Indian cinema you will find it like a sea never ending film making process every week many film releases it need a huge committee which works only in copyrights, and that is not possible for such large industries and if you include small film makers like short film makers then it it will cross the limits.

     

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  57.  
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    Raj, Jan 29th, 2014 @ 5:06pm

    Bollywood Do need strong copyright laws. Just not Bollywood but also Tollywood (South Indian film Indusrty) also need to have strong copyright laws.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
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    nasch (profile), Jan 29th, 2014 @ 5:20pm

    Re:

    Bollywood Do need strong copyright laws.

    Based on what evidence?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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