Media licensing, IPR: Experts bat for ‘clearer picture’

New Delhi: Deliberations on protection and licensing laws in the field of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in India and initiatives required by the government to address the problems being faced by content producers were held at a one-day workshop on ‘Innovation, Intellectual Property and Role of Licensing: A Technology Driven Initiative towards Make in India.’

Bringing to the forefront the issues faced by news agencies and other content creators and producers was Sanjay Mehra, Head of Multimedia and Partnerships of Asian News International (ANI). He also sought from the panel solutions within the legal framework to deal with the concept of plagiarism besetting the industry.

“We are content creators who develop content across different realms of media where demand rises. There a number of problem that we face on a daily basis, and we hope to bring these to the forefront and make a representation regarding the same before the government,” he said while moderating a panel discussion titled ‘Whose line is it anyway?’ here.

Sanjay Mehra further opined that litigation was not the answer to these woes, but rather the legal framework must be moulded in a way to accommodate solutions to these issues. He also said certain notions such as that of ‘fair use’ and ‘public domain’ were being misunderstood in the larger context.

“We have content being developed by us being used by several people without our knowledge. All this stems from a basic notion of free use, which is being misunderstood. A story is churned out from a journalist’s idea and then carried forward. It is, therefore, vital to make sure his/ her creativity is protected,” said Mr Mehra.

The panel discussion titled ‘Whose line is it anyway?’ saw eminent names from the content segment, including Shikha Singhi, Head of Film/Music Acquisition, Times Group; Uday Singh, Head of Motion Picture Association, India; Tanvi Bhatia, Licensing Manager India – Pearson Group and Prashant Verma, Head of Content Licensing and Partnerships, South Asia, Dow Jones & Co.

The panelists shared their views on a number of issues ranging from curation of content to licensing best practices from the world of films and music, publishing, media and entertainment.

In terms of the music used in films, Shikha Singhi stated that one of the major areas of concern was to do with the replacement of paperwork with verbal agreement. This, she believes, makes it difficult to not only track the original creator, but also leads to a tussle of share of profits once the music is released.

On the other hand, Uday Singh opined that it is crucial to retain the incentive for the creator, adding that while Indian content in travelling in the right direction, the development of an appropriate environment is essential.

Adding on to this, Prashant Verma said that with all the focus on content these days, it is something that warrants a payment.

On the legal front for licensing, Tanvi Bhatia re-affirmed that with the kind of content published, there needs to be a mechanism in place for licensing to be made easier.(ANI)