Art And Culture

Checks on Film Piracy Revives Cinema Sector

Checks on Film Piracy Revives Cinema SectorChecks on Film Piracy Revives Cinema Sector

Stern action against movie piracy has helped in the revival of the cinema sector and contributed to curbing problems faced by the industry.

Cooperation of the Law Enforcement Forces in tackling film piracy was hailed recently at a function organized by the Iran Cinema Organization.

Seyed Mostafa Abtahi, head of the newly-established Office for Conservation of Cultural and Artistic Works, Col. Qader Karimi, deputy head of Tehran’s Law Enforcement Forces and cineastes Hossein Farahbakhsh, Seyed Zia Hashemi and Anoushiravan Naeimi were present, ISNA reported.

“Cinema officials  face tough times, struggling to cope with a widespread illegal film market. With no strict observation of piracy laws, violators expand their unlawful activities,” said Hojatollah Ayoubi, head of ICO.

He referred to “lost capital” in the cinema industry as a big part of the “cash flow” goes to home cinema and video piracy. If the financial gap is bridged, a good part of cinema losses will be curbed.

The conservation office was revived recently and despite constraints, has been successful in controlling piracy in films.

“Big cities provide safe havens for offenders to commit illegal activities, but strong action by the office staff has proved effective,” Ayoubi added.

Over 75% of websites providing illegal access to films have been suspended, he noted. “A major part of contraband films are available on virtual space.”

A ‘Video on Demand’ (VOD) service will soon start operation to allow users to select and watch films of their choice at home from among a comprehensive list of films.

He said preventive action against the illegal movie market was as good as “thwarting cultural invasion” and acknowledged the cooperation of police and cineastes on the issue.

With police collaboration, the conservation office was established to monitor cinema industry supply and demand. “We saw positive results within six months, with the gradual increase in sales of cinema tickets,” Abtahi said, expressing hope that preventive operations against film piracy will see the development of the local cinema industry.

Almost five million illegal DVDs have been seized so far  and are awaiting a  legal verdict, said Abtahi, hoping that a separate unit will be established for such investigations.

Col. Karimi  emphasized the impact of the media, especially cinema, on the society and said, “A movie is more influential than an advertisement,” and hoped cineastes will make films “deserving of the domestic audience.”