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IP & Economic Issues in the Film Industries of India and Egypt
by Sofia Gkiousou
2007-10-31 09:54:34
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In India and Egypt, before you join the broadband utopia you have to be able to pay the rent. If you have anything left over then you may be able to afford a PC. If there is a network then you may become a part of the Internet society. It’s a minority of 1 in 6 in India and probably 1 in 15 in Egypt.

The way they enjoy film in India and Egypt is via more traditional channels, namely via the theatres.

Every revolution leads to simplify and vilify the old order. But deep down we know that these two will coexist.

People will want and crave and value the least or not common denominator (talking about wanting to see the same film stars. Wanting to be part of a community)

Tamil Nadu – 150 films per year in India. Freeze frame for the star to allow for the fans in rural areas to throw milk and flowers to their god on the screen.

India: You cannot print a lot of different celluloid. The cost limits you to the big cities in 9million inhabitants and more (eg Madras). So you sequentially release films, first A cities and then B and C cities and town. By that time the pirates have beat you to it – so you have lost your market.

With the advent of digital cinema they are now resolving most of the problems. Not only that but they are also going satellite. The final print in celluloid, copied into D5 masters and then transported via satellite to film theatres which have a decoding key. So they keep printing costs down and at the same time serve their B and C cities.

In Egypt the theatre infrastructure is also very limited – even lower than in India. But of course their territorial challenge is not very big. A renewal has been driven by the rise and rise of new broadcast operators who have used satellite across the Arab world. They brought about a revolution, working from a country that is not very strict in terms of regulation. These operators have realised the value of films. They went to Egypt (long established tradition of quality and quantity film making. It had studios and a star system. Still has some but crucially retains know-how). Pan – Arab satellite operators located editorial offices in Cairo and bought up right for emergent Egypt films.

For Sofia's full WIPO coverage, please visit her blog:


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