The Woes Plaguing The Victims Of Leaked Cinema

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Leaked Movies

I remember the furore, the craving and the excitement, when Game of Thrones came out with its latest season. We all wanted to be the first one to watch every episode, and undeniably, most of us used unethical means to witness the action that the Game always promises. However, in the fear of missing out and to ward off any spoilers, did we not indulge into illegal reproduction of the series? Did we ourselves not commit the same act that was committed by people for uploading and spreading the uncensored link of Udta Punjab?

Bollywood, Hollywood or any other film industry isn’t vague about the piracy that plagues them and their work. With few clicks and codes, we tend to diminish the essence with which the movie is made and ridicule the hard work they put in for it.

After Udta Punjab, major releases bore the brunt of this unethical means of procuring entertainment. The ruckus created by the hackers was so much that the makers of Great Grand Masti had to prepone the release date of their movie so as to not incur more losses than they already did. The movie was leaked 17 days before the release date, and undoubtedly, hit the producers hard. Rajnikanth starrer Kabali was leaked a day prior to its release on the dark web; while Sultan found its way on the unethical yet highly attainable platform, few hours before its release.

In this digital age, even someone who is naïve about technology, knows how to download movies or series, using Torrents. We are not unfamiliar about the idea of how to download movies for free. A good connection and some space on the laptop is what it takes for us to relish a movie, without compromising on the quality, or the cuts by CBFC.

Has the idea of watching movies in multiplexes finally hit the pockets of the people hard that they are relishing the idea of watching latest releases on their laptops or mobile screens?

Undeniably, the easiness and the accessibility with which the movies are available plays a role in the growth of this concealed market. Piracy is often the only way that information or content is available to people who cannot afford it, or do not have access to it because the distribution of the information or content is restrictive.

However, those who cannot afford to watch a movie at a Cineplex for a ticket-cost of Rs. 500 will buy a pirated DVD for Rs. 25 is understandable. But then why do people who can afford 5mb internet connections download movies for free illegally? Is money the problem, or market failure is?

With major leading actors voicing out against piracy, are they fighting a lost battle? Does the rampancy of piracy shows that the film producers and distributors have failed in distributing the content in a manner which is the easiest and most cost-effective for the consumer?

However, it’s not the major A-listers that get impacted by such piracy, it is usually the small-budget movie that pays the price for the unethical means of viewership. I am sure a true Bhai fan, or a Rajni fan, won’t miss the chance of viewing their idols on the big screen than mere 14-inch screen.
As a result of the Great Grand Masti leaks, raids were conducted in different parts of Delhi, which brought to light how the piracy business is flourishing in the capital. Be it Palika Bazaar, Lajpat Market, Chandni Chowk, Saket, Malviya Nagar or Tughlaqabad Extension; the sale of pirated versions of unreleased and recently released movies is palpable. Even Hollywood and South movies are available for 10-50 bucks, depending upon the bargaining skills of the customer.

Earlier, there was seizure of CDs, but now, all these piracy-mongrels need is a pen drive. Also, the laws are lenient in this regard. Since piracy is a bailable offence, the offenders usually pay the fine and walk away.

It is imperative to understand that piracy on the digital form in this digital age needs a more collaborative approach than just mere physical raids. The authorities need to make their presence felt online to thwart such a revolution or calamity (the nature of the act is perceptive).

Yugansha Malhotra

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