While actor-producer Kamal Haasan appears confident of tackling video piracy through the DTH route, almost all previous attempts to counter piracy have failed. The police have not been able to proceed beyond arresting a few persons for selling pirated DVDs.
Only once the investigators were able to track down the source of piracy to a theatre in Coimbatore through the digital water mark identification encrypted in the film reel by the producers of the bi-lingual hit Naan Ee.
In 2000 Kamal Haasan had hired well known Karate exponent Shihan Hussaini to crackdown on sale of pirated CDs of his film Hey Ram. Hussaini and his team controversially went around Chennai’s Burma Bazaar tracing the CDs. The film bombed but the piracy business thrives to this day at Burma Bazaar and similar hubs in Tamil Nadu.
Today, Hussaini himself has given up. “Nowadays anything can be done using electronic gadgets. With cameras fitted in pens, glass and even ID cards anyone can capture a movie easily and pirate it. Technology enables one even to transfer an entire movie in digital format in two minutes. It is impossible to prevent piracy,” he says. CB-CID Special Investigation Team DIG Y John Nicholson blames the public for patronising pirated DVDs. “For ` 30 – 40, people get pirated CDs and watch the latest movies at their home with family members. Even though it is a crime, the number of takers (public) for pirated CDs is high. That is why video piracy could not be wiped out,” he says.
Besides, those involved in video preachy business rake in huge revenue. “Hence, a large number of people are involved in this business unlike certain other crimes where which do not have many takers. The investment is less and profit huge in this illegal business,” Nicholson explains.