Cinemas News

Rajkumar Akella, managing director, theatrical, India, at comScore will receive the MPA Asia-Pacific Copyright Educator Award at the CineAsia Awards Ceremony on Dec. 8 at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong.

“Rajkumar has made great strides with the MPA in promoting copyright education,” stated Andrew Sunshine, VP of the Film Expo Group, which manages CineAsia. “We are delighted to partner with the MPA to give this award each year. Our partnership with them continues to recognize those within our industry who are working hard to protect the rights of all films around the region.”

Since its inception in 2005, Akella served as an executive member of the Governing Council of the Telugu Film Chamber of Commerce’s Anti-Video Piracy Cell (AVPC). In 2011, he was elected as honorary chairman of AVPC’s Governing Council and continues to serve in that capacity.

As chairman of the AVPC, he was instrumental in driving several breakthrough IPR initiatives by setting up a dedicated cyber-piracy cell comprising IT professionals within the AVPC. In 2012, he established a strategic alliance, in the presence of the then chief minister of the United Andhra Pradesh, with the Motion Picture Distrributors Association (MPDA), the Motion Picture Association’s local representative office in India, for knowledge-sharing, adopting best practices and jointly tackling issues such as camcording and online theft, in addition to promoting public awareness and educational campaigns on the importance of content protection.

Akella has successfully led several enforcement operations through a multi-pronged strategy to combat source and online piracy that have resulted in dismantling of operations of significant camcording syndicates operating in India. His efforts and structured approach towards curbing piracy were acknowledged and appreciated by the Scotland Crime & Drug Enforcement Agency at the IP Expo held in London in 2013.

In 2013, Akella helped develop an innovative, interactive and multi-lingual anti-piracy mobile application, iMovieCop (IMC),which was launched by the then U.S. ambassador to India, Nancy Powell, at the Andhra Pradesh State Police headquarters in Hyderabad. The app provides a common platform to disseminate relevant content protection and copyright information to stakeholders, content owners and enforcement agencies. The app has also been well received by law-enforcement authorities and supported by various local screen representatives and associations including the Film and Television Producers Guild of India, representing Bollywood and the MPDA.

Akella has also supported the launch of the “Be A Movie Cop”quiz, an anti-camcording sensitization program using the Indian Movie Cop portal, in association with leading multiplex chains in India and the MPDA. To date, over 6,900 cinema staff from leadingmultiplex chains across India have been trained on online piracy and deterring camcording in cinemas.

Most recently, Akella engaged with the Government of Telangana and ISPs to stress the necessity for the State of Telangana to adopt a dynamic, collaborative model like PIPCU (Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit) set up by the City of London Police, which works closely with the creative industry to effectively deal with online piracy. On June 24, 2016, TIPCU (Telangana Intellectual Property Crime Unit) was launched by K.T. Rama Rao, honorable information technology minister, Government of Telangana, and H.E. Richard Rahul Verma, U.S. ambassador to India, in association with TFCC, the U.S. Government and the MPDA. TIPCU has been regarded as a pioneering initiative which is set to shape anti-piracy enforcement efforts in India in the future.