Gnanavel Raja takes on Tamil Rockers.. 

Last week, one witnessed an emotional outburst of Producer Gnanavel Raja, during a promotion event for the Vijay Antony Starrer ‘ Yeman’. Understandably, for all the pain that Raja has gone through as a producer, being able to do nothing, he spewed all venom against ‘Tamil Rockers’, an alleged website that promotes Online Media Piracy of Tamil films.

Although Tamil Rockers is just one of the possible hundreds of ‘strength-in-depth’ Tamil based Piracy websites, TamilRockers has nearly became the face of ‘Tamil Piracy’. The reason for this has to be strongly attributed to its presence on Social Media, typically, something that has become a way of our lives – The Meme culture.

It is unknown who makes these memes supporting Tamil Rockers. It could be someone associated within the website network itself or it could be a fan or a supporter, but with the power of social media, TR has obtained immense popularity over atleast the last 6 months.

This has immensely helped the site differentiate itself from its potential competitors, and has nearly almost grown to become the face of ‘Tamil Piracy’, as much as ‘The Pirate Bay’ represented the ‘Adhi’ and ‘Andham’ of Piracy at its peak.

The moot problem in my opinion in this case is while TR like any other Piracy network causes monetary losses to the Cinema Industry, it additionally with its memes coming out on Social media ( which the public mock for a minute and forget) takes a dig at the near impotency of the Film Industry, that they can do nothing about it.

So, now Gnanavel Raja has decided to jump into the administrative bandwagon to see if he can control this horse. He hopes to pin down ‘TR’ in six months and stream the live event of sending the folks behind ‘TR’ to jail. The irony however is that, even if such an event happened, neither would it be a ‘publicity stunt’ or a ‘deterrant’. How many of the public even remember the raids that Actors ‘Parthiban’ and Vishal did on Pirated DVDs? How many people remember Poor Premji coming out and cribbing against Pirates, when Biriyani’s Audio was pre-release-pirated? I dont think there would be many.

Even if we assume that ‘TR’ is shut down for good, will it affect the Public? I don’t think so. Names like ‘MegaUpload’, ‘KAT’ and “TPB’ were once names ‘allegedly’associated with Piracy. They are no longer at their prime. Infact, some of the leaders in this field do not exist. Their assets have been seized, their Servers are down and they no longer are able to serve feeds, as they once used to. Does this make a difference on the users, who once used these websites? No. Those who consumed such content have simply moved on. Their attitude towards both the ‘copyright holder’ and the ‘person or website serving such content’ is just ‘indifference’.


A very interesting response from the end users perspective, taken from a Social Media post which came into my FB feed. A lot of these points have been discussed at various places earlier, like Cheran’s C2H business model for example. 

Cinema which has one of the most distinctive features of being an early’ art’ and ‘cultural’ medium that brought various classes of people together seems to slowly move toward in a direction not much desirable,  from the perspective of the generic film watching public. 
Newer Technologies for communication keep coming. Pirates usually rely on the strength of ‘technology’ while the Anti-Piracy group relies on ‘legal means’.  Each time, the mirage of having caught up appears, the gap distances itself in the next round.

 

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‘Katthi Sandai’ Cam Prints are out Online !!!

Although Actor Vishal was quite confident and said that a lot of things have happened in the background to arrest potential piracy of his upcoming film ‘Kathi Sandai’, the pirates seem to have won, this round of the battle as well. As of now, the movie is available online, in less than 24 hours of the film’s release.

Maybe in an hour or two, these links will be communicated and Antipiracy activitists on behalf of the film will get this link down from the internet, but by then enough damage would have been done already. This cam print alone will generate thousands of seeds which will keep re-appearing all around the Internet in various forms, again and again.

In the next couple of days, this print will be taken and analysed and the source theatre will be identified. Maybe, a red card may even be issued to shut down the theatre or it may end up in limbo.

I don’t get how this ‘Red card’ benefits the industry because the Pirates will then hop over to some other theatre, unless proven that there is a direct nexus between the Theatre owner and the Pirate, something that seems extremely unlikely in every case, and definitely not something that will be quite common. If the employee of a theatre connives with the pirate, will the theatre owner be responsible? In theory yes, but my feel is that theatres in B/C centres and rural areas hardly make any money of significance these days to issue these kind of additional surveillance mechanisms, for the owner of the theatre to make his presence felt.

If this is the road ahead, then the only possible outcome of this action could be that eventually all theatres will get ‘red carded’, with the industry eventually having no theatres to release.

It will be interesting to see Vishal’s interview on Saturday. I am eagerly awaiting to see his response.

Vishal’s Interview with Sreedhar Pillai

For the past couple of years, Actor Vishal has been one of the few celebrities who have openly voiced dissent against the act of Piracy, right from attempting surprise raids on Bazaars, Cable Networks and even Buses. Naturally, it was expected that he would have something spicy for his upcoming film.

A very interesting interview given by Actor Vishal to Film Critic Sridhar Pillai. Pillai has been quite crisp on his questions ranging from the Nadigar Sangam issues, Piracy, Actor Salaries, controversies and Vishal has been open and the clarity of his answers to the questions need to be appreciated. Here are my two pence on having seen the interview, above.

It is 23rd December today and the movie ‘Katthi Sandai’ has released today. Vishal has been quite vocal for some time on the issue of Piracy and as expected, he seems to be speaking of some kind of magic portion, which he believes will have some sort of impact. My gut feeling is that Maybe, by tomorrow or day after, a pirated print will emerge. It will be interesting to see what Vishal may have to say tomorrow. Vishal raises the problem of ‘small budget films’ and producers. Ironically, by releasing the film in so many screens provides so much pressure to ‘small budgets’ that have got a release already and creates difficulty in finding theatres for small budget films.

Vishal says that addressing the problem of Piracy at its ‘root’ would mean taking action as fast as possible. I think the root of the problem is public apathy’ to the problem from the industries perspective and ‘content demand’ from the perspective of the public. I think Vishal can do nothing against this. He also raises the issue of lack of action against a theatre, which is alleged to have leaked a film print. I have expressed my views here.