Comic on anti-piracy launched in Mumbai | books | Hindustan Times
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Comic on anti-piracy launched in Mumbai

A comic book on anti-piracy was launched recentlly in an effort to fight piracy. The government of Maharashtra supported this ground initiative by the recently formed anti-piracy coalition between Hollywood and Bollywood.

books Updated: May 25, 2010 14:32 IST
Jayeeta Mazumder

On the occasion of Mumbai Cyber Safety Week (May 24-28), a comic book on anti-piracy was launched in the city, at YB Chavan Auditorium, on Monday. The government of Maharashtra supported this ground initiative by the recently formed anti-piracy coalition between Hollywood and Bollywood.

Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Chhagan Bhujbal, Home Minister, RR Patil and Commissioner of Mumbai Police, D Sivanandan, were present for the launch of the book titled, Escape from Terror Byte City.

The first-of-its-kind comic will initially be distributed in the city to children in the age group of five-10, in schools, shopping malls and multiplexes. It will be published in three languages — Hindi, Marathi and English .It has been endorsed by the Department of Information Technology, Mumbai Police, Data Security Council of India (DSCI) and the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM).

“We’d really like to work with the Ministry of Human Resources Development (HRD) and get the book included in the national curriculum of the primary education system. This is only the first phase. If the HRD Ministry approves, we’d tour across India and translate it to more regional languages,” Rajiv Dalal, managing director of Motion Picture Distributor’s Association, India, says.

The purpose is to educate the youth, especially school children, on dangers of piracy, and for the same reason, the content has been Indianised. Dalal says, “The book has been made by the artists in New Zealand. It’s an adaptation that involves only the translation. But the actual subject is not very different from the New Zealand version.”

However, the comic will not be available in bookstores immediately. “We’ll look into it. We are first targetting kids, because they are influenced by what they read and see. Once they start reading it, their parents will also be aware of it.” He also says that since there is no MCA or specific anti-piracy control system operating in India, it only works in the form of a joint alliance. “It’s important that people know how piracy contributes to terrorism,” Dalal asserts, highlighting the fact that the strip is done with sketches, in a graphic video game-like format. “We hope that putting this in comic form makes the message more accessible, interesting and exciting.”

About the book

Escape from Terror Byte City tells a story of two boys — Jeremy and Ben — who get trapped in a virtual city after downloading an unauthorised copy of a movie from a peer-to-peer file-sharing site. The comic will be published in three languages — Hindi, Marathi and English.