Mumbai: Caught in a thick web of piracy, the Rs. 8.3-billion ($183 million) Indian music industry is facing serious trouble. Musicians and other artists feel there is not much they can do to save it from the free download menace and call it “a losing battle.” Some estimates say a staggering 95 percent of the industry could be illegal.
“Piracy kills the creativity and the work that go into making a song. When a song falls prey to piracy, it is so frustrating. You put so much money into it and get nothing out of it and people listen to the song for free. Sometimes one feels why are we even doing this work?” music composer Anu Malik says.
According to a report, the effects of counterfeiting and piracy on India’s entertainment industry show a loss of Rs. 160 billion each year.
Earlier, pirated DVDs, CDs and cassettes were troubling the industry, but singer Shaan says the digital format has now made it more difficult to curb theft.
“It’s an easy and convenient thing for people to just download any music they like from the internet free of cost. Then obviously they don’t take the pain to buy CDs,” he says.
“There was a time when people liked listening to good quality music and audio quality really mattered to people. Songs were heard on big music systems and enjoyed. But today most are not bothered about that. Today people listen to bad quality downloaded music and that’s why piracy has become a lifestyle thing for them,” he adds.
The government is trying to help the industry to get rid of the piracy problem, but nothing substantial has been done so far.