The US Congress has named India in the list of countries in “2014 International Piracy Watch List“. The list was made by the International Creativity and Theft-Prevention Caucus that is chaired by Congressmen Bob Goodlatte and Adam Schiff, and Senators Sheldon Whitehouse and Orrin Hatch.
The caucus was formed in 2003 with the objective of fighting copyright piracy and call attention to countries where it has reached alarming levels. The other countries named in the list apart from India are China, Russia and Switzerland.
In the report, the caucus notes that India continues to present a flawed environment for the promotion of copyright and Intellectual Property. It has also notes that India is mentioned in the Special 301 Report as a Priority Watch List nation. It now wants to conduct an Out-of-Cycle Review of Indian progress later this year.
The caucus feels that despite a large domestic creative industry, India continues to lag badly in both the legal framework for protection of IP and enforcement priorities. The continuing issues here according to the group are extremely high rates of camcording piracy, high levels of unlicensed software use by enterprises, and a lack of effective notice-and-takedown procedures for online piracy.
Caucus is not being completely unfair in their comments about India, after all piracy is the reason shows like House of Cards and Game of Thrones are popular in India. Indians were #5 internationally when it came to torrenting the final episode of Breaking Bad. It even prompted Kevin Spacey to say that Indians are stealing House of Cards at a press conference around the Indian Indian International Film Awards.
However it would be incorrect to say that nothing is being done to reduce piracy. For example, Bangalore-based ACT broadband had blocked torrent websites, a teenager was arrested for pirating a movie this year and many image hosting sites were blocked last year, along with several filesharing websites. If foreign studios want to reduce piracy in India, may be it should send DMCA notices to websites that are hosting the content, instead of blaming India of not doing enough. It is also worth noting that the Indian judiciary does not look kindly on fishing expeditions in the name of stopping piracy.