Include Digital Space in Copyright Act

admin   February 9, 2021

There has been a consensus among panel members to completely overhaul the Indian Copyright Act and make it contemporary to modern times and look at changing dynamics by embracing emerging digital ecosystem in the new provisions.

Titled ‘Digital India Copyright Act – Redefining the Future of Creative Works’, the panelists at the Fast Track Digital Series delved deep into the various aspects of the Copyright Act of 1957.

Moderating the session, Trevor Fernandes, Vice President, Govt. Affairs – Asia Pacific, MPA, emphasised the need to protect the intellectual property rights. Fernandes maintained that while revisiting an Act that was last reviewed in 2012 was justified, he cautioned that 2020 was not the time to rush changes without very careful deliberation and policy calibration.

“I think the Copyright Act needs to be overhauled in a substantive and significant manner. Starting off with the digital space, I’d like to see it written in simple language and have non ambiguous clauses and provisions, which make it easier,” said Ameet Datta, Partner – Sai Krishna Associates. “We should include modalities to fight digital piracy.”

Anil Lale, General Counsel, Viacom18, added that piracy needs to be tackled more stringently. “Pirates have no face and territorial boundaries because of the digital space that we are in,” stated Anil Lale.

Ritesh Khosla, Deputy General Counsel, Sony Pictures Networks India said piracy should be redefined in the new Copyright Act. “Piracy is at an industrial scale and it is eating legitimate revenues of the government. It is an economic offense,” Khosla stated.

Talking about the efforts of MPA and the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE), Uday Singh, MD, MPA India, said, “The MPA and ACE has been set up as an answer to this multi-jurisdictional and shapeshifting problem. Multiple jurisdictions have tried to put voluntary measures in place and what we have been able to achieve with the Telegram Monitoring Project (TMP) is a very good step in that direction.”

Panelists also debated on ownership of copyrightable works created by artificial intelligence and machine learning. They called for an international convention for a global consensus on this subject.

Copyright is not a state or a national phenomenon. If a copyright is created, it will only be valid if the whole world gives it that protection 


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Vidya Balan Set to Shine as Shakuntala Devi

admin   July 28, 2020

With Shakuntala Devi directed by Anu Menon, a Biopic on the legendary maths genius, getting ready for a direct release on Amazon Prime Video, Pickle presents you 10 interesting things about the film

* The film stars Vidya Balan as Shakuntala Devi, who was also known as the ‘human computer’ along with Jisshu Sengupta, Sanya Malhotra and Amit Sadh. The Hindi biographical movie is directed and written by Anu Menon and produced by Sony Pictures Networks India and Vikram Malhotra under his banner Abundantia Entertainment.

* Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the film will not be released theatrically and will stream on Prime Video worldwide on 31 July 2020. It can be watched in 200 countries simultaneously and in 4000 towns of India. Vidya Balan expressed her delight on social media platforms regarding the release of the movie on the OTT platforms.

* Vidya too knew Shakuntala as an exemplary mathematician, but as she delved deeper into her life with director Anu Menon, she learnt that the academician defied every notion you have of a mathematical genius. According to the actress, Shakuntala was so full of life, had a wicked sense of humour. She was like a complex equation.

* Shakuntala Devi is being released amid the coronavirus pandemic. Theaters all over the country are still closed, but with Amazon Prime Video stepping in, the film is getting a digital release. Its result would be one of the factors that would decide the impact of OTT platforms and its future when it comes to streaming ‘big films’ directly.

* Shakuntala Devi was a mathematician, an astrologer, the writer of guides to arithmetic, a cookbook for men and a crime novel, the author of one of the earliest studies of homosexuality in India, an aspiring Member of Parliament. She was also very emotional and possessive, affectionate and loving and so much more rolled into one. Vidya Balan did a lot of homework to get things right.

* Shakuntala Devi was often called a ‘human computer’ and the world knew her as a genius who could solve complex equations in a few seconds. Anu Menon’s upcoming biopic, which stars Vidya Balan, aims to discover the heart that ticked inside the machine. Shakuntala Devi has been made in consultation with her daughter Anupama Banerji, who lives in London with her family.

* Shakuntala Devi was born on November 4, 1929. Her father was a trapeze artist and a magician. Shakuntala Devi gave her first professional performance at the age of six, in which she demonstrated her prodigious memory and ability to solve arithmetic problems with extraordinary speed.

* Director Anu Menon had grown up with reports of Shakuntala Devi’s mathematical genius. It started out with a stray comment by her daughter who was eight at the time. Menon’s quest became richer and deeper after she met Anupama Banerji and her husband, Ajay Abhaya Kumar, in London in 2016. The meeting lasted six hours and was equally moving for Banerji and Menon.

* Anu Menon’s research for the film included viewing clips of Shakuntala Devi performing calculations on television. In an undated programme filmed for the Canadian broadcast network ATN, the mathematician impresses a panel and the studio audience by coming up with answers nano-seconds after the questions have been asked. Wearing a sari and a big grin, Shakuntala Devi revels in her brilliance.

* Shakuntala used to perform Maths on stage. And there was a lot of joy involved in it. According to Anu Menon, they tried to capture as much as they could from the daughter’s perspective. She made Maths an art form. And, the film is aimed at paying a memorable tribute to the genius.