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COMIC BOOKS HIGHLIGHTING DANGERS OF FILESHARING LAUNCHED IN INDIA

Local adaptation of New Zealand comic ‘Escape from Terror Byte City’ to be distributed at Cyber Safety Week 2010

  • 24May 2010

Singapore/Mumbai – Schoolchildren across the country will soon be learning about the dangers of online movie piracy through a comic book launched by the recently formed Bollywood-Hollywood anti-piracy coalition. Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra Chhagan Bhujbal, R. R. Patil, Home Minister, Maharashtra, and D. Sivanandan, Commissioner - Mumbai Police, launched the book entitled “Escape from Terror Byte City”, today at the inaugural session of Cyber Safety Week in Mumbai.

In the coming months, 10,000 comic books will be distributed in Mumbai to children aged five to ten in schools, multiplexes and malls. A local adaption of a comic originally developed by New Zealand Federation Against Copyright Theft, it tells the story of two boys who become trapped in a virtual city after downloading an unauthorised copy of a movie from a peer-to-peer filesharing site. The comic will be published in three languages – Hindi, Marathi and English - and has been endorsed by the Department of Information Technology, Mumbai Police, Data Security Council of India (DSCI) and the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM).

Commenting on the event, Prakash Nathan, Vice President of UTV Motion Pictures, said: “Internet piracy is becoming increasingly rampant among online audiences. We must begin to reach out to people across age brackets and social strata. School children are at an impressionable age and do not always know the distinction between legal and illegal. The comic book is a valuable step in educating them about online piracy.”

Sanjay Tandon, Vice President of Reliance Big Entertainment added: “There’s no doubt that Internet piracy has hurt the film industry. It jeopardizes the ability for a movie to make money and impacts the level of investment available for new films. Further, it is also important to remember that profits from piracy can be diverted to fund other illegal activities as well.”

Motion Picture Dist. Association (India) Managing Director Rajiv Dalal asserted: “As the first building block of our brand-new educational initiative, we are targeting kids who are influenced by what they read and see. We hope that putting this in comic form makes the message more accessible, interesting and exciting to them. We look forward to working with the Ministry of Human Resource Development to extend this initiative and have this comic distributed to all school children across the country.”

“This is an excellent initiative by the film industry to raise awareness of the dangers of online theft,” said Mike Ellis, President and Managing Director of the Motion Picture Association, Asia Pacific. “The comic book was a success when we launched it in New Zealand last September and we are glad to see an adaptation being distributed in India. While all of us in the industry continue to work with the government to address this issue, we must also get the message across to the public: by saying no to illegal movie content, they are supporting the investment and hard work of the creative community in India who produce the movies they love.”

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For more information, please contact

Rajiv Dalal
MPDA India
(91-22) 6630 5555

About The MPDA

The Motion Picture Dist. Association (India) Pvt. Ltd. (MPDA) is a wholly owned local office of the Motion Picture Association, and represents the interests of the American motion picture industry in India. MPDA works closely with local industry, government, law enforcement authorities and educational institutions to protect the film and television industry.

About the MPA: Promoting & Protecting Screen Communities in Asia Pacific

The Motion Picture Association (MPA) and the Motion Picture Association International (MPA-I) represent the interests of the six international producers and distributors of filmed entertainment. To do so, they promote and protect the intellectual property rights of these companies and conduct public awareness programs to highlight to movie fans around the world the importance of content protection. These activities have helped to transform entire markets benefiting film and television industries in each country including foreign and local filmmakers alike.

The organizations act on behalf of the members of the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc (MPAA) which include; Paramount Pictures Corporation; Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.; Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation; Universal City Studios LLC; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures; and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. The MPA and the MPA-I have worldwide operations which are directed from their head offices in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. and overseen in the Asia Pacific by a team based in Singapore. For more information about the MPA, please visit www.mpa-i.org.