Movie making is no easy job. Producers invest a huge amount of money, directors sweat it out to execute a good film and actors work hard for their roles. After all this, a film finds its way to a distributor and then the theatre. All this teamwork results in a feature film, which one should ideally enjoy at the cinema hall. But movie pirates are disrupting this movie-watching experience by creating CDs of films within hours of its release. Piracy leads to a loss of revenue for the film industry, and that clearly isn’t a good sign for cinema to function. There are two kinds of piracy – online and physical. The physical copy of a film is available in a CD or other devices, while online piracy refers to the film being available for viewing online. And both these illegal methods serve as threats. Recent Tamil and Malayalam releases have also faced the effects of piracy.

24, Pencil and Theri Targeted

Director Vikram Kumar’s film 24, starring Suriya in the lead is the latest film targeted by pirates. An illegal copy of the film was recorded at a leading cinema house in Bengaluru. According to a statement issued by QUBE Cinema, a leading digital cinema provider, 24 was illegally recorded during the 9.45 a.m. show on May 6 (first day of release) at a popular multiplex. Wondering how they were able to trace it? Well, thanks to technology, figuring this out was simple. With the help of a forensic watermarking (on the print), which uses an invisible identifying code unique to each theatre, QUBE was able to zero-in on the server, and found that it was registered with the multiplex, and were even able to tell the screen it was recorded in. The cinema house is now not allowed to screen the film in any of their multiplexes.

The G.V Prakash-starrer Pencil and Vijay’s recently released film, Theri were also targets of piracy.

Censor Board Copies

Music director D. Imman recently took to his social media account to share his views on a recent event. His status mentioned that he has come across the censor copy version of his recent film, Vetrivel. He was puzzled as to how it made it online. This is because a theatrical version is different to the one sent to the censor board.  Due to deadlines, filmmakers usually opt to use music which may already be available online, and send it to the censor board. The pirated copy of Vetrivel, featured just that. Whereas, the theatrical version features music composed by the music director.  Last year, the popular Malayalam film, Premam faced a similar issue, where the censor copy was easily available online.

Vishal’s Novel Efforts

Actor Vishal, who has regularly voiced his views against piracy, is also letting his actions speak. Previously, the actor had raided cable TV operators and had them arrested for illegally screening new Tamil films. A few weeks ago a phone call about private buses screening Manithan and Theri were reported to him by passengers. The actor quickly sought assistance and got the driver and conductor arrested.
He even proposed a solution to curb this problem. He has stated that the production houses should release original DVDs of new releases within 10 to 20 days of its release, since, the theatrical shelf life of a hit film is just two weeks now. Although his idea seems novel, we’re sure it involves decision making from theatre owners, producers, and distributors.