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Digital Piracy and Security


With the new time phase and growth in technology, there is a upliftment in various kinds of crimes which started infringing the online security of other people. The technology has now taken the face Online piracy which is worse as it becomes a menace to cyber and legal world. Now, it has been widespread all over the world especially when it is related to piracy in the movie and film industry. India is one of the largest movie maker in world and makes 1200+ movies per year, which increases the cases of online piracy. Online copyright infringement is a legal cybercrime which makes it clear that whomsoever intentionally and severally stole the other person work and right without its permission are said to commit a crime.

Copyright is a type of intellectual property right which gives a person's exclusive right to reproduce, publish, or sell original creation of the material (movies, songs, musical, dramatic, artistic) the right to get paid. This kind of intellectual property right is now the victim of Digital Piracy.

Piracy emerges when a person copies, distributes or sells a matter or any intangible assets, without the prior permission of the creator who have created the product. The problem is now increasing at higher rate as majority of people didn’t get the fixed term of money for it. Piracy is a type of online copyright infringement, where such material is sold and distributed without the awareness of original creator.

Digital Piracy or Online piracy is the medium of downloading, copying and distributing copyrighted content digitally without any permission. The reason behind piracy has start making questions on creation of the Internet. Online piracy majorly used by many users due to many ill-intention reasons and with technology advancement this crime will also increase. Digital Piracy further mentions and familiarise Software piracy which means illegal copying, reproduce, distribution, or use of software. It is now being stolen by crime groups because such people seeks that this has become the new profitable business and will give millions to them.

Digital piracy has now shows a significant threat to the development of the software industry and the growth of the digital media and movie industry for the last decade, which makes the interest for researchers and practitioners.


With respect to its scope, India has seen the huge economic loss caused by digital piracy because many stole the content for its own Profit as it can be seen in movie industry and artistic industry. They are not aware about this thing and when they come to know, it’s been very late. Box office stuff and movies that premiere in a relatively large number of theatres benefitted from the shutdown of Mega upload. The average effect, however, is negative. It evidently shows that this result is made by information externalities and other group of peole. But the main reason is online piracy who acts as a mechanism to spread information about product characteristics across consumers with different valuations for the product. Digital piracy has been a main focus and pinpoint of others. Lost revenues due to digital piracy has effect the makers of original content. In a 2014 research study of the economic and technological factors were examined within 12 indicators, resulting in that on average, most research respondents agreed that the reason why they keep participating in the unethical doing of digital piracy is it widely spread influence by economic and technological factors.


Digital piracy has bettered information distribution by making improvements into file sharing technology. Pirating communities are bent towards the model market which now trends well, as people of those communities are early adopters. Piracy will lead to businesses developing new models that is need for the current market. It has been said that online piracy will help in preventing businesses from investing in any unusual marketing campaigns.


In India, the Copyright Act 1957 along with the IT Act, 2000 deals with various provisions of piracy and its related terms. Legislation makers has given more focus on such issues and there has been an increasing power and new amendments in legislation which deal with the problem of Digital and Internet piracy. As the technology advaces, the need for enforcement of strong copyright laws to deal with large number of internet piracy cases has become important.

The main legislation for the protection of work from copyright issues and problems is the Copyright act of 1957. However, the steps against online copyright infringement were not up to the mark. Therefore, there was an amendment in 2012. Therefore, Section 65 A of new copyright (amendment) act, 2012 protects the owners from breach of copyrighted materials. Section 65 A specifically states that “any person who circumvents an effective technological measure applied to protect any of the rights conferred by this Act, to infringe such rights, shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to two years and shall also be liable to fine.”

Section 65 B of the Copyright (Amendment) Act, 2012 provides for the Protection of Rights of Management Information. The section specifically states that any person, who knowingly (1) removes or alters any rights of the management information without authority, or (2) distributes, imports for the distribution or communicates to the public, without any person authority, copies any work, or performance knowing that electronic rights management information has been removed or altered without any authority shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to 2 years and shall also be liable to fine.

Another part of legislation that deals with digital piracy is the IT Act, 2000. Section 66 of IT Act deals with the illegal online distribution of copyrighted content to other people which provides for punishment with up to 3 years of imprisonment and fines up to Rs 2 lakhs.

In COVID 19 situation, small producers have been affected by piracy from video streaming services. Because theatres are shut down and there is no box office or any audience to judge the value of the film, movies and filmmaker’s services are likely to operate on the revenue sharing basis in some cases, resulting in dividing the profits based on how the film performs on such platform. Pirating from these services will make huge Profits for them.

Not just movies, piracy also extends to web series and OTT platform. In August 2019, the second season of Netflix’s crime thriller Sacred Games had seen the verge on pirated videos circulating on messaging app Telegram and multiple social media platforms on the Internet. Hungama Digital Media original had seen the spike in 169,000 downloads across different torrent websites since its premiere in June 2018. World solutions provider in digital platform security, media and entertainment has reviewed that the Indian media and entertainment industry loses its $2.8 billion of annual revenue to piracy (According to a report by Irdeto). India is among the top Six countries in peer-to-peer downloading and websites hacking.


  • Anti-Piracy Measures in the Draft E-Commerce Policy: In 2019, the Draft E-Commerce Policy was prepared by Ministry and made it under public domain. Stakeholders, like investors, manufacturers, MSMEs, traders, retailers, start-ups and consumers, all these interests are taken into account. The following are the anti-piracy measures that have been made:

  1. To make measures for preventing the online dissemination of pirated content some intermediaries will be called to rescue such things. They will search and recognize for only trusted entities whose complaints will be taken first as a priority.

  2. Upon being notified by the copyright owner that a website or e-commerce platform is making available, selling or distributing any copyrighted content without the prior permission of the owner, such website or platform should be remove as the alleged content.

  3. A body of industry stakeholders will be created to identify “rogue websites”. Rogue websites are those which host pirated content. These are sites that are set up for malicious or criminal purposes. This includes counterfeit-selling sites, typosquatters and cybersquatters. These rogue websites shall be send for the “Infringing Websites List” (IWL), after the that are as follows: (i) internet service providers (ii) rogue websites will not be permitted to payment gateways and flow of payments to or from, (iii) search engines shall take necessary steps to remove websites identified in the IWL in their search results, (iv) advertisers or advertising institutions and organisations shall not host any advertisements on the websites made in the IWL.

  • Amendments in the Cinematograph Act, 1952 (Anti-Camcording Provisions): Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting has introduced the bill in Rajya Sabha for the Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill, 2019 on 12 February 2019.

  • National Cybercrime Reporting Portal: The Ministry of Home Affairs of the GOI has launched the national cybercrime reporting portal where the citizens can lodge complaints on cybercrimes. The complaints have been divided into two shapes: (i) women and child and (ii) other cyber complaints. Online piracy complaints can be filed under the other cyber complaints.


1. Remove the Incentive:

This is one of the most important and effective barrier for security of the digital Piracy. Removing the old Incentives and implementing the new incentive can be most forward steps and measures to control Digital piracy.

2. PR & Education

The goal is to highlight to the consumer that piracy is a crime and it is illegal. To those within the industry this is obvious; to those outside it is not. This has become a normative crime which is one that everyone does and so the activity no longer appears as illegal because the behaviour is normal.

3. Barriers to Entry

That it easy for consumers to choose legal alternatives, it is hard for the pirates. Content owners look to protect their investment and Intellectual Property, and will only strike licensing deals with operators that can demonstrate that they take such threats to the revenue stream seriously in turn.

4. Technology & Operations

Being able to identify content, a live pirate stream as having come from your own video ecosystem. That requires technical intervention at the pre-transmission stage. Monitoring is the key to success here, whether automated and there are some interesting developments in AI monitoring of video streams, both deployed and under development or human-led. In an ideal world, at least for now, a hybrid solution is typically deployed. Once a breach has been detected, swift action is necessary to deal with it.

5. Legal & Enforcement

There are a variety of countermeasures that TV Service Providers can use to interrupt and remove pirated content, from the traditional take-down notices to increasingly sophisticated realtime messages. With the correct anti-piracy services, operators can identify consumers who are watching illegal streams and incentivize them switch to legitimate services. These actions scale from soft to hard, with the harder countermeasures involving the introduction of law enforcement authorities.

6. Cooperation

While companies at all levels of the broadcast chain are used to competition, the losses to content piracy are too great for there not to be concerted efforts at cooperation. These need to take place at all levels of the industry and at all steps of the process, from production and on-set content security through to transmission.


There are a lot of issues with the online copyright infringement laws in India. With the growth of new technology, it has become a challenge to deal with increasing rate. The judiciary system has 500+ cases per month and there is a need for forming some guidelines about various incidents in the digital world that can enhance and solve issue like Digital piracy.

However, the government enacting some proper measures to stop the menace under control. With the increase in technology and digital piracy has adopted digital rights management provisions and John Doe orders. If there will be awareness, polices and a few precautions then the rate of Piracy and online copyright infringement can be seen decreasing. It is also important to learn from others various piracy laws of different and various countries. Our Indian legal framework is inadequate and less effective in case of online piracy. However, things will gradually and slowly change according to new amendments. The growing menace of online copyright infringement can be resolved by awareness and implementing hard policies.


Chanderprabhu Jain College of Higher Studies and School of Law, GGSIPU


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