Media role in curbing piracy stressed -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Media role in curbing piracy stressed

KARACHI – Speakers at a seminar titled “Role of Media in Projecting Legitimate Business Practices & Curbing Piracy in Pakistan” asserted that lack of implementation of state laws, the counterfeiting and piracy have increased in the country causing huge losses to national exchequer.

They were of the opinion that lack of the implementation of the Intellectual Property Laws of government was resulting in rampant counterfeiting and piracy.

Speaking on the occasion as chief guest, Ms. Shazia Marri, Sindh Minister for Information and Archives Department, said that economic development of a country depended on sustained creativity and industrial development hence there was need to combat counterfeiting and piracy with an iron hand.

She opined that government could not stop the piracy and it was the responsibility of all sections of the society to play their role in curbing this menace.

Criticising the performance of government-run Intellectual Property Organisation of Pakistan, she said this national body was established in 2005 but its performance in curbing menace of counterfeiting and piracy was very poor.

“The rural population was the main affectees of counterfeit and piracy brands especially food brands because they have no information about the quality of the brands”, she said adding that media was playing its due role for curbing the piracy but every section of the society has to raise voice against this menace. Syed Khalid Mehmood Bukhari, DG Intellectual Property Organisation of Pakistan (IPO), said the newly formed IPO was cognizant of its crucial role to protect creativity in the society.

“In order to improve public awareness, the IPO has launched an outreach programme for linking and leveraging its internal and external constituencies such as universities, academia and general public”, he said, adding that within the first month of IPO existence, the FIA cracked down on the piracy infrastructure to demonstrate government’s administrative firmness behind the IPO initiatives while FIA and Pakistan Customs were busy in controlling the supply side of piracy. He suggested a separate police and FIA force under the control of IPO for curbing piracy and counterfeiting.

Ms. Ameena Syed, Chairperson, Anti-Counterfeit & Infringement Forum (ACIF) & MD Oxford University Press, stressed that mass media could play vital role in projecting legitimate practices and also guiding consumers about the steps they should take in case they get a fake product.

Amar Naseer, spokesperson for ACIF, drew the attention of the media towards growing menace of counterfeiting of famous brands and enormous health and safety risks they posed to the consumers. “Besides, inflicting financial loss to the national exchequer, fake products harmed the goodwill, reputation and credibility of Pakistani products”, he said. He informed that various famous consumer brands lose legitimate sales in the range of 7 to 20 per cent due to piracy.

Widespread availability of fake and sub-standard food products and medicines pose serious threats to the health of citizens and the well-being of the society, said Naveed Sheikh, owner of Asli Haji Rabri Walay, Hyderabad, lamenting the rampant copying and counterfeiting of their family brand.

Source: The Nation

Date:1/14/2009