An illegal DVD of actor Suriya’s recent release, 24, was made at PVR Cinemas in Orion Mall, Bangalore. This finding was the result of an analysis of the pirated DVD conducted by Qube Cinema, the digital service provider for the movie. Further, Qube added that this recording was made during the 9:45 am show at Screen 3 on May 6, the day on which the movie was released.
These findings by Qube come in the same week that Tirupur Subramaniam, a distributor and exhibitor, had alleged that most piracy of Tamil movies was carried out in theatres outside of India. Subramaniam had also added that Tamil movie producers were unfairly singling out smaller theatres, while larger multiplexes seem to get favoured treatment from them.
Qube uses a technology called Forensic watermarking in its analysis. The technology employs an invisible identifying code that is unique to each theatre where the movie is played. The original source of any copy of a movie can be ascertained by running it through a forensic watermark detector.
Speaking to Silverscreen, Senthil Kumar, the co-founder of Qube said that “The pirate has no way of seeing this code when they copy the movie. But, the detection software will identify the screen at which it was filmed as well as the time at which it was filmed.” When asked about the odds of the detection results being wrong, he replied saying “It is impossible for the detection to go wrong. It can fail to detect the code in extremely rare cases, but if the code is detected, there is no way the identification of theatre can go wrong. All the theatres that comply with the Digital Cinema Initiative have a common standard.”
Subsequently, Sakthi Velan, head of distribution at Dream Factory, tweeted that the company had cancelled the digital licence of Chennai PVR.
— b.sakthivelan (@sakthivelan_b) 13 May 2016
KE Gnanavel Raja, the head of Studio Green, the production house behind 24, has announced plans to go on an indefinite hunger-strike at the producers’ council from 5pm today to protest the piracy of his movie.
Responding to the findings, PVR Cinemas said that they were investigating the issue.