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India ranks fourth in the list of illegal movie downloads!

Published on : June 04, 2012
India ranks fourth in the list of illegal movie downloads!

Shobhana Nair, Bloomberg UTV.


Today it is easy for one to decide whether he wants to watch a movie at the multiplex or download it from internet. But while doing so, many fail to realise that illegal downloads add up to the huge losses that filmmakers incur in every movie that they produce.


Today in addition to the woes of physical piracy; digital piracy is something that is giving filmmakers nightmares and India ranks fourth in the list of illegal movie downloads!

It is not surprising that several film producers are approaching courts to protect their content. For instance, even before the release of the Tamil movie ‘3’ featuring the sensational Kolaveri Di, Harish Ram from Copyright Labs obtained something known as a John Doe Order from the Madras High Court. John Doe order is taken against unknown people to protect your content.

Last year many Bollywood producers also obtained this court order. Sensing the seriousness of the issue and wanting to preempt any legal hassle, many ISPs recently pulled down various video sharing websites in the country.  Downloaders across the country were greeted with ‘access blocked’ message.

As a result, there were serious net furies, more so because torrent sites were not only medium to enjoy just Indian Cinema but world cinema as well. Speaking on the issue an anonymous internet user told Bloomberg UTV, “I am a budding filmmaker and would watch movies on these sites as the DVDs are not easily available. As a citizen, this is one crime which I wouldn’t mind doing it my entire life.”

However, some experts are of the opinion that blocking access to such websites cannot curb piracy as it is very easy for one to go around it and continue downloading movies. “There isn’t only one way to reach Delhi from Mumbai. You can go via Udaipur or Indore. So if one road is closed, people can access these websites in other ways,” Anurag Sharma, Director, Piracy Track told the channel.

Producers have many ways to track their content and act on the copyright infringer, like piracy track. This is one such software which provides an exact minute by minute data about digital piracy of your content. For example, this software revealed that the recently released movie Ishaqzaade was in the top 25 pirated movie list and so far has been downloaded 1, 46, 386 times worldwide, of which 72,884 was from India. One can only imagine what kind of money YRF must have lost only on the back of to digital piracy.

Like Bollywood producers, Indian music industry is also fighting against piracy. In the month of March 2012, Indian music industry, which is considered as an umbrella body for music companies in India, got court orders directing 387 internet service providers to block 104 illegal music websites. The reason was obvious – the digital music market stands at an estimated at Rs 5, 000 crore where as only Rs 350 crore is the total legitimate digital sales.

Vijay Lazarus, President, IMI said, “the impact has been good. The traffic on legal websites have gone up and the pricing of the songs have also been increased.”

But how do these websites make money? Well, the person who uploads illegal content is paid first, while the website which gets the heaviest traffic gets advertisements like banners, screensavers & pop-ups. So if the content providers are gearing up to fight it out with the pirates, it looks like internet users are not giving up easily. A group called ‘Anonymous India’ – which is known to target official websites by hacking them, has called for a protest against these blocks on June 9, 2012 in Chennai.

Anonymous India as the name suggests is not any individual or group. But it is a voice which is becoming louder day by day. Though nobody is denying the ills of piracy, illegal content on websites may as well be blocked. But internet service providers have pulled down even legal content which has really irked users. Piracy definitely needs to be curbed, but not at the cost of hurting genuine legal websites. click here

© Copyright 2012 UTV News Ltd. All rights reserved.

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