The Anti-Piracy Cell (APC) of the State Police is planning a vigorous drive in the central and northern districts in the wake of rampant piracy.
The focus will be on mobile phone shops and service outlets which now rule the illegal market, officials said.
“Mobile phone shops and service outlets contribute to a major chunk of the piracy business, especially in the central and northern districts. We are collecting information on such shops and a major combing operation will follow,” said Anti-Piracy Cell SP B Varghese.
The official said the operation also aims at preventing sale of pornographic content.
“School students are the major clientele of shops selling obscene clips. Strict action will be taken against such offenders,” Varghese said.
The Anti-Piracy Cell, formed in 2011-end under the Crime Branch, could make only a nominal presence in the central and northern districts so far owing to staff shortage.
The officials said the recent appointment of district-level nodal officers would help to ensure an active presence across the state.
“A detective inspector has been designated nodal officer of the Cell in each district. This would be a big boost for effective monitoring,” said Cell DySP S Rafeek.
After an year-long gap, the Cell recently convened meetings with film producers and distributors to hear their grievances. The officials said internet-based piracy was still a cause for concern though a marginal decline was witnessed after the police action against some who uploaded Mohanlal-starrer ‘Drishyam’ to the internet.
Meanwhile, piracy detection has become a lucrative market in the state with new agencies turning up to offer their services to copyright owners. The top players in the field are ‘Stop Piracy’, ‘Agent Jadoo’, ‘Third Eye’ and ‘Demolish Duplica’ who alert the Anti-Piracy Cell on copyright violations.
The Anti-Piracy Cell is supported by the Hi-Tech Crime Enquiry Cell to coordinate with national and international agencies to identify the offenders and to take legal action.
The sale of pirated discs is witnessing a steady decline with the spurt in mobile phone and internet-based piracy, according to the Cell officials.