Piracy has been cinema's biggest enemy ever since the advent of digital technology. With the evolution of technology in cinema, the criminal elements have also upped the ante and have been incorporating these advances in technology for their personal gains too. Earlier, it used to be pirated VCD's which were flooding the market right from the day of a movie's release. These were followed by DVD's. During this period, movies of top stars used to be the most sought after and even if the prints were of poor quality, they still used to sell like hot cakes. When technology moved on, so did the people in the piracy industry. Torrents became the biggest bane of the period, just a couple of years back. However, internet availability still kept this on a leash.
In the current world, where high speed internet is very easily available, illegal online streaming websites are the biggest threat to cinema. Right at the forefront of these sites is the TamilRockers group, which is proving to be the biggest thorn in the flesh for movie makers. This group mocks all anti-piracy steps taken by the movie makers and still go ahead and leak theatre prints of full movies, within just minutes or hours of the actual theatrical release. The industries most hit by this were Kollywood, Bollywood and Tollywood as these three industries work on massive annual budgets running into thousands of crores. Now, we have news that even the smaller industries like Mollywood and Sandalwood are falling victims to the threat of piracy.
Prithviraj's big budget horror thriller 9, directed by Jenuse Mohamed and produced by Prithviraj's home banner Prithviraj Productions & SPE Films India, hit the screens on 7th February and has been receiving good reviews. However, within just a couple of days since its release, the whole movie has been leaked online. An industry insider states, "It is shocking that within just 3 days of release, Prithviraj's 9 is fully available online. These illegal sites are causing a huge loss to the producers and distributors as this is one of the biggest and most expected movies in a long time and has been made on a very high budget." The outcry to ban these illegal sites has been on the upswing but little has been done to curb piracy. Let's wait and see if any active steps are indeed taken...