It will no longer be easy to pick up that favourite Hitchcock film from your street vendor.
The police could now come down heavily on buyers of pirated DVDs, and not just sellers, once the new law is enacted.
“When the law is implemented we would prosecute customers caught buying pirated CDs and DVDs, under the Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities Act, ” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Enforcement) Sheela Sahil.
Sahil said arresting buyers would send out a strong signal to citizens that buying pirated material was as much a crime as selling it. “When the law comes into force we would be able to chalk out the details of executing it,” he said.
However, Sahil said there were certain shortcomings in the execution of the law. “The police are not experts in differentiating between an original CD and a pirated one, so when we nab customers, experts would have to called in and on the basis of their analysis we would prosecute buyers. This would be a lengthy process,” he said. “Also, it would be difficult to raid each home to book buyers.”
The police will hold awareness programmes for citizens to warn them that they could land if caught buying pirated DVDs.”
The police have raided many units selling pirated DVDs and CDs in recent years, but tracing the manufacturers is more difficult.
“We had been booking sellers under Section 420 of the Copyright Act but could not stop the piracy mafia as the sellers would get bail easily,” Sahil said.
“But after the enactment of the law the conviction of sellers would help us trace the manufacturers. That could help in stopping piracy completely.”