The Motion Picture Association of America has stepped up its war against piracy in emerging markets including the Gulf with the release of a report which claims film piracy is funding global terrorism.
The report, entitled Film Piracy, Organised Crime and Terrorism, was compiled on behalf of the MPA by US non-profit security analyst RAND Corporation.
It cites evidence of involvement in piracy by various groups branded terrorist organisations by the US government, including Hezbollah and D-Company, the latter of which reportedly had operatives based in the UAE in the 1990s and was responsible for the Black Friday Mumbai bombings in 1993, which claimed close to 1,000 casualties.
By the early-2000s, the report claimed D-Company “dominated every step of the Indian filmmaking process and so was able to control most of the region’s piracy”.
Furthermore, it claims D-Company continues to generate massive revenues from the production and distribution of counterfeit Bollywood and Hollywood DVDs in the Gulf and South Asian regions.
The report argues that holding regional governments to account for enforcing Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) under World Trade Organisation obligations represents the best strategy for combating terrorism funding derived from piracy activities.
“Five factors bear on the effectiveness of IPR policies: strong government and political will, good legislation, fair and consistent enforcement, deterrent sentencing, and willingness to experiment with innovative solutions,” the report states.
“Governments that are serious about combating piracy need, first, to diagnose their own shortcomings in light of these five factors, then they must frame initiatives to address those shortcomings… However, for many countries, incentives will long remain weak and capability even weaker.”
DPme.com was awaiting comment from Scott Butler, CEO of the Arabian Anti-piracy Alliance, at the time of publication.