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Don’t succumb to scientific piracy

Tuesday, August 3, 2010 • Tamil Comments

Piracy is still considered a menace by film makers in spite of the best efforts taken by the government to eradicate it. At a recent audio launch function presided by the Chief Ministers most of the speakers including Ilaya Thalapathi Vijay restated their demand to weed out the crime.

The DVDs of new films are available soon after the release of a film. In three days they get what is called “camera prints”. In another three days there will be “decent prints” and by the end of the first week you almost get a clear DVD print. There is also another version common these days called “copied from Blue Ray”.

While the quintessential pirated DVDs are still popular soon they may go out of use as new innovative techniques are invented by unscrupulous pirates. The common enemy now is “online piracy”. The worst hit by this was Sarath Kumar whose 15 crore mega project ‘Jaggubhai’ directed by KS Ravikumar was made available on the net even before the release.

If that was organised crime video sharing sites like YouTube unleash havoc unintentionally. In March, YouTube revealed that every minute, 24 hours of video is uploaded on to the site. In May 2009, that was 20 hours, which means there has been a 17% increase in 10 months.

Watching videos on line are becoming a phenomenon in countries which have internet with high bandwidths. Reports suggest that in the US, in January 2009, 147 million people watched 14.8 billion videos online. The figure went up to 178 million and 33.2 billion respectively in December 2009.

Even in India with basic bandwidth availability is increasing the same acts may be repeated here also. Now there is more trouble beyond Torrents to film producers. With original DVDs of film available sooner than expected in countries abroad Tamil film producers are groping in the dark.

A report says Tamil films are mostly downloaded in Chennai and Bangalore, and nearly 80 per cent of the downloads of four Tamil films on BitTorrent happen in India, while Telugu films are mostly downloaded in Hyderabad and Bangalore, with 88 per cent of the downloads of four Telugu films on BitTorrent traced to India.

With new methods of piracy invented by unscrupulous people the crime may soon go beyond the grasp of anybody. A new method found recently may leave a producer speechless. You go to a pirate with a handy pen drive, he will record a new film on it and both of you can escape watchful eyes. If the technology has its ways in future even you may be asked to stand 200 meters away from the vendor and he will transfer the film using Bluetooth. There are devices available now that can link computers with Bluetooth with a distance of 100 meters. These are assumptions which are highly possible.

But is there no way cinema can be saved of piracy? There is one way. Embrace and tie up with online partners legally. There are online partners who stream contents after legally obtaining rights. You’re your content available to genuine online partners much like you would do to music labels.

Popular sites like Youtube consider all videos uploaded on their site are legal. But if the copyright owner writes to them proving they are the real owners they immediately pull out the video. Unfortunately our producers are not willing to do that job which may take just 5 minutes of their time.

At the same time the film industry also must be able to identify the black sheep within the industry. While speaking on ‘Jaggubhai’ issue Rajinikanth was practical to say the crime actually happened in collusion with the people from within the industry.

Recently a clip of a to be released film was uploaded on YouTube and (official?) online media hype was unleashed even by giving the URL. That wicked idea would have undoubtedly come from people within the industry.

While fighting the online piracy one has to put down these kind of sinful elements also. Opt for legal partners. Encode your content, there is a bright future ahead for all. You must know the ways as much as we do.

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