Guide to Anti Piracy Laws in India

India releases numerous movies exceeding 1000, worldwide every year. This astounding achievement makes the Indian film Industry the largest Entertainment Sector in the world. Specifically speaking, Bollywood stands out in the revenue generation parameter of the Indian Entertainment Industry with a massive revenue in excess of $2.5 billion every year. The main sources of revenue of the Industry include theatre releases, TV distribution rights and DVD releases.

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However, it is plagued by the demon of Piracy. The losses estimated by Online Piracy is humongous and
massive. Online streaming, illegal downloading, uploading, sharing and replicating copies via latest social
media platforms, from various torrent websites and copying the content in CD’s ,DVD’s , pen drives, data
drives, portable devices, on cloud – email storage drives, etc and future are some of the ways that the piracy hampers the revenue of the Industry. Even E-books and Software aren’t untouched by the menace of piracy. It acts as a serious blow to the Software Developers and Authors who are witness to the depreciating social and moral standards that also destabilize their financial revenue.

The various instances where a person knowingly or unknowingly resorts to piracy are listed below:

  • When you use Home License Software in Office.
  • If you copy a legal software meant for one Machine on another.
  • When you make duplicate CD or DVD of your own licensed software CD.
  • When you download or upload licensed software from free websites providing pirated software
  • Cracked version of the original software that is available online with cracked key licence version, where the person replaces the base file that detects the piracy

Use of technology like prints watermarking allows producers to keep a check on usage and movement of each print across the globe. However, even such measures have failed to curb the problem of online piracy in India.

In India, the Copyright Act 1957 protects all kinds of literary, dramatic, artistic works. The copyright of computer software is also protected under the Copyright Act. Copyright protection for software with an individual author lasts for the duration of the author's life and continues 60 years after the author's death. Government agencies such as the Ministry of Information Technology and the Ministry of Human Resource Development have played an active role in aiding the Indian law enforcement authorities in protecting software copyright holders.

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The increasing rates of online piracy have pushed the Indian Government to take stringent measures to protect the interest of moviemakers and distributors. The amendment to Copyright Act is one of such measures by the government against the rampant menace of online piracy in India.

The Copyright (Amendment) Act, 2012 has revolutionised the Copyright laws in India by amending piracy laws in India. Section 65A protects Technological Protection Measures used by copyright owners against any evasion or breach. This Measure is used by copyright owners to protect their rights in the copyrighted work. If someone evades or circumvents Technological Protection Measure in order to infringe the owner’s IPR, then the person can be punished with imprisonment up to 2 years along with fine.

Section 65B deals with Information Rights Management (IRM). IRM protects sensitive information from unauthorised and illegal access by a person. Under the law, any unauthorised and intentional removal or alteration of IRM is a criminal offence punishable with imprisonment.

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The Information Technology Act, 2000 also deals with online distribution of illicit copies of Copyrighted content. Under Section 66 of the Information Technology Act, a person can be punished with imprisonment for up to 3 years with a fine up to Rs. 2 lakh.

Online piracy is a critical problem for the entertainment industry. I feel India, being a mass market the popular software prices can further reduce prices to more than fifty per cent especially the Student version of software's sold in schools and colleges. Such proactive Corporate Social Responsibility along with the stringent implementation of the Copyright Act 1957 And the Information technology Act 2000 will curb this menace down to its knees.


  • Wikipedia
  • Adv.Prashant Mali’s Notes on Cyber Security and Compliance
  • Copyright Act 1957.
  • Information Technology Act 2000