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Piracy hits Tollywood hard

Written By Indiagreat .in on Monday, 17 October 2016 | 12:59:00

Visakhapatnam: Tollywood continues to suffer due to piracy. Last year alone, the Telugu film industry lost about Rs 360 crore due to online piracy through 18 million downloads or web streaming. For instance, according to a report based on a year-long study, by global accounting and consultancy firm Deloitte, Bahubali, which had one of the highest budgets in the film industry, was pirated on the day of its release. About 1.6 million people downloaded the movie and another 1 million people watched it illegally through 1,500 links.

As per the report, ‘Indywood-the Indian film industry,’ Panama is not only a stash haven but has turned out to be a breeding ground for film piracy which is killing the Indian film industry. Despite the ongoing digitisation of the film industry, piracy continues to be a key issue resulting in overall Indian film industry losses of Rs 19,0000 crore a year. Over 150 sites thrive on piracy where content is stolen from Indian movies. Quick copies are made and distributed globally.

Nearly half of the 150 sites are from the US, followed by 11 from Canada, 9 from Panama and 6 from Pakistan. Since almost 67 per cent of website services offering pirated version of Indian films are located abroad, the film industry is unable to take action. In order to counter this, the state governments need to consider tie-ups and a bilateral agreement with the US. Such an agreement is being negotiated by the anti-piracy wing of the Telugu Film Chamber of Commerce (TFCC) and the CID of Telangana police to coordinate with authorities in the US and Europe. Adopting emerging encryption technologies to safeguard the film content in all stages of release and distribution has assumed a sence of urgency.

“Piracy continues to be a huge problem and the loss has always been substantial. As the technology has been advancing, people are finding new ways to do illegal things. Enforcing strict punishment on those involved in such illegal things is the only solution. Film piracy has become a rampant thing. There is no fear among those who are involved in it. Even after the new rule came, that the viewer is also responsible, piracy failed to stop. There needs to be a strict law to control it. We are doing our best while taking help from the state government but there’s a lot that needs to be done,” said popular Tollywood producer, Daggupati Suresh Babu.

Interestingly, international films are a growing segment of the Indian film industry, having increased its box office share from almost five per cent a few years ago to approximately seven per cent now. This is mainly due to the dubbing of international films in regional languag-es. The number of foreign films dubbed into Indian languages has doubled over the past five years. These films are being dubbed into Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu which has helped them reach audiences beyond Tier 1 cities.

Multiplexes sprout in big cities:

Multiplexes continue to increase is the presence in India especially in Tier-II and Tier-III cities. Over the last one year, around 2,000 single scre-en cinemas have been shut down or converted to multiplexes mainly due to the greater cost of operations. Multiplexes have sho-wn a growth rate of 15 per cent in Indian cities, increasing from 925 in 2009 to 2,100 in 2015. However, India has a multiplex density of 6 multiplex screens per 10 lakh people which are significantly lower than that of developed countries.

Further, multiplexes account for only 15 per cent of the total market. The remaining is still controlled by single scre-en cinemas. In comparison, 90 per cent of scre-ens in the US are multiplexed. India has a potential for 7,500 to 10,000 multiplex screens compared to the 2,100 currently established.

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