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‘Piracy causes Rs 25bn loss to national exchequer every year’

AFP

ISLAMABAD: Intellectual Property Organisation (IPO) Director General Engr Aamir Hassan on Tuesday disclosed that the IPO has launched a movement to establish the intellectual property tribunals, and it was informed that the country’s economy loses Rs 25bn to piracy issues every year.
Addressing an event titled ‘The Enforcement of Copyright Laws in Pakistan’ here, Hassan said that the IPO was making die hard efforts to counter and uproot the issue of piracy across the country.
He urged that judiciary has to play a strong role in countering the menace that causes Rs 25 b to national economy per year, adding that Organisation is focusing more legislation and its implementation now.
Hassan mentioned that Under IPO Act the specialised tribunals are supposed to be established across the country where the judges would have to review the Piracy related issues only.
Elaborating further he mentioned that IPO has launched a movement to establish the intellectual property tribunals, under which initially five tribunals are being demanded to be established in Federal Capital and all four provinces.
He criticised the present piracy related law enforcement situation across the country saying as in 2012 35 cases of piracy had been registered out of which only eight accused were convicted. DG IPO informed that to create awareness among masses IPO will hold activities in relation with World Piracy Day being observed on April 26.
Engr. Aamir Hassan termed it unfortunate that country enjoys no intellectual policy yet and urged the government to introduce a proper intellectual property rights policy for the country. 
To a question he suggested to issue licences to the pirate publishers like wise practiced in India to resolve the issue of piracy and to maintain the cheap book prices across the country.  
Managing Director, Oxford University Press (OUP), Ameena Saiyid mentioned that the Piracy related issues every year causes loss worth Rs 25 b to the national exchequer.
She informed that not only the publishers, authors, singers and writers but the investors also feel insecure unless tight piracy laws are enforced across the country, adding that Publishers pay to the writers, printers, artists other then paying taxes to the government and their investment drowns deep.
“It takes no efforts for scanning the books and let them getting printed in pirate editions that is destroying out economy,” said the Ameena Saiyid.
Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Mushtaq Ahmed Yousufi and many other big names used to do jobs till their last breath to ensure their earnings to maintain their kitchens, and the credit for their miseries goes to the piracy, Ameena added further.
MD Oxford University Press disclosed that unfortunately, not only in case of books and CDs but the country has reputation being notorious for piracy in every field and products ranging from cooking oils to large industry. 
Speaking at the occasion Syed Mohammad Bilal, Intellectual Property Rights Lawyer emphasized on the need of implementation of Intellectual Property Laws, disclosing that intellectual property laws were introduced in the constitution over 100 earlier.
Imran Chaudhry, Additional Controller Customs declared the violations of Intellectual Property Laws a major restriction in the foreign investments across the country saying that Academia market of the country has been over run by the piracy.

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