U.S. Chamber Recognizes Maharashtra Cyber Unit as 2019 IP Champions in India

Monday, April 8, 2019 - 11:00am

MUMBAI; April 8, 2019 – Today, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC) and U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) hosted “Creative India: Honoring the Legacy, Fostering the Future” to identify ways the U.S. and India can join forces to combat online piracy and protect cross-border innovation and creativity. The event took place at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai and brought together industry leaders and enforcement authorities from the U.S. and India to discuss new ideas to combat digital piracy, enforce intellectual property (IP) rights, and inspire international creativity.

Opening the event with the keynote address, Edgard Kagan, U.S. Consul General in Mumbai, said, “Next time you go see a film, stick around for the credits. Notice how many names are there that you don’t recognize. Intellectual property thieves are stealing from those people, even more than they are stealing from big media companies or famous movie stars. That’s why this is so important and that’s why the United States will continue to work closely with our friends in India to improve laws, regulations, and enforcement against content piracy in all its forms.”

Patrick Kilbride, Senior Vice President of the GIPC, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, stated, “In October 2018, the U.S. Chamber co-hosted the first annual public-private dialogue on IP in New Delhi, bringing together government and industry leaders from both nations to convert IP-related challenges into partnerships and collaborative projects. Addressing online piracy emerged as a key collaborative work stream and we are pleased to convene today’s important discussion as a next step from that dialogue.”

Delivering special remarks, Mr. Kaustubh Dhavse, Officer on Special Duty to the Chief Minister of Maharashtra said, “We are thrilled to see greater collaboration between industry and the Maharashtra Cyber Digital Crime Unit (MCDCU) to combat piracy. The state of Maharashtra is pioneering the creation of a comprehensive cyber security and anti- IP theft ecosystem in the country and we are pleased to work with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in the fight against piracy and copyright protection.”

The panel discussion featured U.S. and Indian industry experts and enforcement leaders including Brijesh Singh, Special Inspector General of Police, Maharashtra Cyber, Mumbai; Blaise Fernandes, President & CEO, Indian Music Industry; and Thomas George, Partner, Saikrishna & Associates.  

Following the panel discussion, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce honored the MCDCU—South Asia’s first public-private initiative to combat digital piracy—with the 2019 Global IP Champion award in recognition of their efforts to protect the rights of content owners online. The Global IP Champion award recognizes a member of the IP community who has advanced reforms to foster and protect innovation and creativity in their communities and around the world. Launched in August 2017, the MCDCU has disrupted 235 websites hosting pirated content, resulting in savings to the tune of Rs. 120 crore or approximately $17 million for content creators.

Accepting the award on behalf of the MCDCU, Brijesh Singh, Special Inspector General of Police, Maharashtra Cyber, Mumbai stated, “We are honored to work on behalf of Indian innovators and creators to protect their work online. Although a young unit, we are positioned for growth and committed to winning the fight against digital piracy in India and abroad. We thank the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for their appreciation and look forward to working together to address common threats to digital piracy.”

Nisha Biswal, President of the U.S.-India Business Council, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said, “India, with its long history and rich culture of creativity, is taking welcome steps to secure its legacy and preserve its future in creative works through appropriate public policy. We commend the MCDCU for their efforts to protect creativity and hope their work will influence other states.”