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Indian films make $2b but lose $2.7b to piracy

It is shocking but true. India’s film industry, said to be the largest globally with some 1,000 movies produced each year, earns around $2 billion from legitimate sources such as screening at theatres, home videos and TV rights. But with $2.7 billion, piracy earns 35 per cent more, and a way out has proved elusive. Red Chillies Entertainment, a production house promoted by actor Shah Rukh Khan, was a victim of film piracy with ‘Dilwale’ last year. It grossed Rs 148 crore at the box office, but its pirated version, circulated a day before its release, grossed a much higher amount. Recent films like ‘Kabali’, ‘Great Grand Masti’ and ‘Udta Punjab’ have all faced similar music.

The Indian film industry loses around Rs 18,000 crore ($2.7 billion) and over 60,000 jobs every year because of piracy. This figure is also what the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) brandishes in its magazine. While the Indian film industry is, indeed, flourishing, piracy points toward how much more its stakeholders can make.

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