HYDERABAD: Actor Nikhil Siddhartha, who toured the Telugu States to promote his latest release Arjun Suravaram, was shocked when he spotted a woman selling pirated DVDs of his film at a stall near Guntur-Sattanapalli highway. The video of the actor where he asks the woman where she got the DVDs has gone viral.
“On my way back from Guntur after completing the victory tour of Arjun Suravaram, I stopped for a tea break. I was surprised to find DVDs of the latest movies, including mine, being openly sold on the highway,” said Nikhil. The actor received another jolt after he was alerted by a Twitter follower that Arjun Suravaram was being played on a TSRTC bus on Thursday. “The film is running to packed houses and I am happy to see house full boards everywhere. At the same time, it’s saddening to see pirated copies and torrent links surfacing online. What’s more annoying is that the bus operated by the TSRTC played our film,” said Nikhil.
He pointed out that despite slashing ticket prices and waiving parking fee at theatres, the revenue potential of the industry is getting affected due to rampant piracy. “Our tickets are already priced moderately to make cinema viewing affordable. There are many livelihoods involved in creating a film. So the next time you download or buy a pirated DVD, think about the damage you are causing to the industry,” urged Nikhil.
The 34-year-old actor said, “We have already reported the issue to the police and will take a legal route as well.” Jeevitha Rajasekhar, general secretary of the Movie Artists Association (MAA) agrees that piracy has eaten into the business of the film industry. “We are coming up with stringent provisions to tackle modern-day piracy menace and working on a necessary legal framework with the help of several experts,” said Jeevitha.
He says that film pirates are constantly changing tactics to share content with illegal networks. They breach firewalls and transmit content using foreign IPs. “The anti-piracy cell worked well during the release of PSV Garudavega and Kalki. They blocked links to pirated copies of these films as and when they were uploaded. As I said, we are paving the way to fight against piracy,” Jeevitha emphasised.