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May 11, 2005
Subcontinent Copyright Wars
Fascinating article on the BBC regarding the copyright wars between India and Pakistan (How piracy is entrenched in Pakistan). Turns out that Pakistan is cracking down on copyright infringement of Western movies, but not on movies from India:
"I am sure that at some level, allowing piracy of Indian films was considered a smart act of industrial sabotage by the Pakistani policy makers," says Ameed Riaz, the head of EMI Pakistan.
"Basically, anything that hurt India was considered kosher."
It is no coincidence that the first - little noticed - copyright law adopted in Pakistan in 1962 expressly stated that it did not cover Indian intellectual property.
However, the effect, it seems, was to entrench Bollywood even further in Pakistani culture:
Not just that: Pakistan's fashion and modelling industry has come to be deeply dependent on the Indian film culture.
Event management companies in Karachi that organise weddings for the affluent say that many brides want the wedding stage to resemble a set from a particular movie.
The wedding set from Indian diva Aishwarya Rai's film, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, was replicated at so many weddings in Karachi that it became a joke.
Street jargon employed by Bollywood crime characters has become every Pakistani parent's nightmare. Even the mullah in the mosque - if he wants to be popular with his audience - will base his religious anthems on popular Indian film music tunes.
via Hit and Run
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