With the bootleg website Tamil Rockers openly threatening to upload the new Vijay starrer Sarkar hours after the film’s release, the war between the South Indian film industry and piracy has reached a flashpoint.
Apparently, the Tamil film industry has taken this open challenge very seriously. Actor Vishal Krishna who is an active anti-piracy activist, says piracy can only be tackled from within the industry. “See, by talking about it I am only giving them publicity. This is what they want. We’d rather work quietly in setting the imbalance right.”
Vishal who effectually stopped the illicit streaming of his latest film Sandakozhi 2, feels piracy is a menace on the wane. “My fans or fans of Vijay or Mahesh Babu, Rajni Sir, Dhanush would not want to see Sandoz or Sarkar on a patchy grainy inaudible pirated website where you can see members of the audience blocking the view as they get up to get popcorn for their girlfriend. If you see the box-office figures of the really good Tamil-Telugu films recently like ’86 and Sarkar you will realize that piracy is now a restricted business which we are going all-out to curb.”
Even as Vishal and this correspondent spoke on Tuesday morning all efforts were being made to nab potential piracy practitioners in theatres screening Sarkar across Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. Says Vishal, “As I said, the menace has shrunk. I think audiences watch bootleg versions of new releases mainly abroad in countries like Germany and Norway where only some of the big films are released. Where do the house-helps of NRI families go? Movie outings in European countries are not affordable for everyone. The spurious websites are taking advantage of that demand. I think it is up to the government to clamp down heavily on piracy. Haven’t they been able to shut down porn websites? Then why not illegal film-streaming websites? In the absence of a sturdy government policy and action, we from within the South Indian film industry are taking the strongest action possible against piracy. But we need the audiences’ co-operation. Just stop watching films on spurious websites.”