Digital watermark helps track piracy 

It’s an oft-quoted statement that pirated copies of new Tamil movies are made abroad. Putting an end to this, Anti-Piracy Cell of Vellore, on Tuesday, arrested two employees of Devi Theatre in Arakkon

Published: 22nd December 2016 03:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd December 2016 03:36 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

VELLORE: It’s an oft-quoted statement that pirated copies of new Tamil movies are made abroad. Putting an end to this, Anti-Piracy Cell of Vellore, on Tuesday, arrested two employees of Devi Theatre in Arakkonam for allegedly recording a recently-launched movie ‘Kavalai Vendam’, starring Jeeva, to make pirated CDs.

The arrested are Murali, theatre manager, and Operator Dillibabu. This followed complaint by the producer with the Salem Anti Piracy Cell that pirated CDs of the movie were being sold across Tamil Nadu within a day of its release.

The police team whichseized the pirated CDs found that the movie had been recorded in a theatre in Tamil Nadu. With the help of QUBE, digital display technology provider, police zeroed in on Devi Theatre.

Sources said, the location was detected with the help of invisible digital watermarking, which has unique identification code for each theatre. Senthil Kumar, CO and founder of QUBE told Express, the invisible digital water marking embedded in the server had an identification code for each theatre.

“The Pirated CD was sent to a company based in France for decoding the digital watermark. It costs ` 25,000 to find the location,” he said. Digital watermark feature would only help detect the place where it was recorded and not in preventing piracy of movies.

The arrest of two staff has embarrassed the theatre owners association, especially when the entire film industry was screaming against pirated CDs. Since the watermark technology incorporated by QUBE five years ago, all three incidents pertaining to piracy happened in ‘C’ class theatres, said theatre owners.
‘Rohini’ Panneerselvam, President, Tamil Nadu Theatre Owners’ Association, said it’s the responsibility of theatre owners to ensure their screens were not used for piracy.

“Of the 1160 theatres across TN, the 100 and odd C centre cinemas are not secured properly. Theatre owners should install surveillance cameras in theatre cabins and  also check the conduct of employees.”he  added.

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