Friday, October 19, 2012

Indian Media And Entertainment Legal Challenges

The entertainment and media industry growth and challenges in India are imminent. With this growth, the legal issues of entertainment and media industry in India are going to increase. The media and entertainment industry of India must be well prepared to deal with these challenges.

According to India’s exclusive techno legal IP and ICT law firm Perry4Law, the media and entertainment industry is attracting attention of significant stakeholders in India. India’s media and entertainment business is estimated to grow by 18% over the next 5 years and is projected to grow into a 1.157 trillion industry by 2012.

Further, online entertainment business is the next big market for studios and broadcasters. The major changes are likely to occur in the video games, internet, casinos sectors and television distribution. A greater part of this development is anticipated from "BRIC" countries, i.e. Brazil, Russia, India and China.

Presently, the great markets of China and India are dominating this growth potential of media and entertainment industry. However, along with these market potentials there are some cause of concerns as well. The dealing of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) matters in India is one such concern.  It would be appropriate to know what the legal arrangements and challenges are in this regard. 

Indian media and entertainment industry may face the legal challenges of IPRs laws and cyber laws in India. IPRs laws like copyright, trademark, etc may be repeatedly violated and intermittently invoked to redress IPRs violations of media and entertainment industry in India. Likewise, media and entertainment industry must consider the directives akin to due diligence and supplementary provisions of Information Technology Act, 2000. There may be additional requirements which may carry certain new impugns - the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) being one of them. 

Furthermore, the media and entertainment industry will face new technological challenges. For example, the concerns relating to digital preservation in India of entertainment industry products may assume implications in future. This entails a domain specific and techno-legal expertise that India may not presently possess. We need to develop techno legal skills development in India in this regard.

The state of affairs moreover requires a move in the academic and professional education in India that needs to be duly implemented envisaging the modern and up to date needs. However, technological up gradations and educational improvements may not bring desired outcomes in the lack of public awareness in this regard. 

Ignorance of law is no excuse. Therefore, even if India has basic level laws and suitable technology, it may tolerate IPRs and cyber law infringements due to ignorance of applicable laws. In the dearth of public awareness all other ingenuity will fall short. However, it looks like, the time ahead for the media and entertainment industry will be both - exigent and exciting.

Cyber Security Council Of India

Cyber security of India has finally got the attention of Indian government. Indian government has been announcing many initiatives that could strengthen cyber security of India. Although these initiatives have come late yet this is a good beginning from all counts.

Now it has been reported that the Indian government has launched a new and dedicated wing of the country's National Security Council Secretariat (NSCC). The function of the proposed wing would be to deal with the growing cyber threat especially those from cyber terrorists.

Cyber terrorism against India, cyber warfare against India, cyber espionage against India, etc are on rise and this dedicated wing can be really helpful in this regard. The wing would coordinate with other existing law enforcement agencies. The objective of the wing would be to keep both public and private computer safe from cyber attack and malicious activities.

The proposed wing would work in the direction of ensuring coordination among various government departments of India so that both national and international cyber threats can be countered. Gradually the wind would be extended to make its initiatives and efforts more holistic and wide.

However, India still needs to stress upon cyber security research and development. Till now we have a sole techno legal cyber security research centre of India that is managed by Perry4Law and Perry4Law Techno Legal Base (PTLB).

Close association and coordination with institutions like PTLB is the need of the hour. Let us hope that Indian government would collaborate and coordinated with institutions like PTLB to make its cyber security initiatives more holistic and effective.