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.