BENGALURU: After fighting a battle against piracy successfully in January, the makers of Uri: The Surgical Strike, seem to have lost the war. Coinciding with Indian Air Force’s strike at Balakot in Pakistan, several high quality ‘prints’ of the film have found their way on Torrent sites. The movie makers had taken several steps to ensure that the film did not make its way to pirate sites, this included releasing a fake file themselves.
However, one Indian group did manage to upload a copy within a few days of the release, albeit, of bad quality. “Just a few hours after the strike on February 27, two prints of the movie appeared on a Torrent site. Both were high definition versions of the movie with the credits. This shows that these pirates did not hurriedly copy the movie from a theatre but instead had access to a good quality print,” said Nirav (name changed), who stays in Singapore.
The leaked movie file has a time stamp which mentions, ‘for screening 11.1.2019’ which makes it likely that it was used for screening the movie for a select audience on the day of its release.
These prints have spread like wildfire, even as Indians tuned in to news of the strike, and tensions flared between India and Pakistan.
By March 2, the day after Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, the pilot who ejected and landed in Pakistan controlled territory, was returned to India, the number of people hosting the file on the site had doubled, with thousands of downloads. On Tuesday, professional uploaders put out copies of the film with subtitles.
At the time of its release, filmmakers had tricked pirates by uploaded a massive file. The video would play a message recorded by Vicky Kaushal and Yami Gautam, actors in the movie, asking the viewer not to indulge in piracy.