Following revelations that a pirated copy of Suriya’s 24 was made at the PVR Cinemas in Orion Mall, Bangalore, actor and producer Vishal has claimed that as many as seven films, including Theri, 24, Vasuvum Saravananum Onna Padichavanga, and Inji Idupazhagi, were illegally filmed at the same multiplex.
At a press meet held to discuss the piracy issue, Vishal said that the Producers Council was fully aware of how piracy functioned, and yet had not taken any action against the multiplex. He added that his next movie, Marudhu, would be screened at the same multiplex.
Producer KE Gnanavel Raja said that it wouldn’t be easy to take legal action against PVR Orion, as the multiplex is in Bangalore. “The Producers Council will have to approach the South Indian Film Chamber to take legal action against the multiplex.”
Raja added that theatre owners should undertake extra measures to prevent piracy, “I have been urging theatres to set up CCTVs on their premises, especially in the projection room. We have sought CCTV footage from PVR Orion Mall authorities, but they are yet to give it to us.”
Gnanavel Raja, who had earlier gone on a hunger strike at the Producers Council, said that he had dropped the strike only after he was assured that all necessary steps would be taken. He said, “Despite being the producer of the film, Kalaipuli S Thanu, was not aware that the film was pirated at the PVR theatre in Bangalore.” He added that people from the industry were not serious about the issue, whereas even fans were trying to stop piracy by reporting it to producers whenever possible.
Earlier, theatre exhibitor Tirupur Subramaniam’s had claimed that piracy happened in theatres in Singapore/Malaysia, and that producers were to blame, as they simultaneously released films in those locations. However, Gnanavel Raja strongly disagrees, “The pirated copies that we find on the day of release or within the next two days are definitely taken in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, or Kerala. When we sell the overseas rights, we also agree to give them (the buyers) the DPX file (original copy) of the film and they make original DVDs, which are then copied and distributed in India. He added, “There are ways to stop this too. I have put forth a suggestion that original DVDs should only be released 2-3 weeks after the theatrical release. But theatre owners are against this, as they feel it would affect their business.”
Vishal also said, “When a film incurs loss, an actor is held responsible and is asked to compensate the producers’ loss. Why aren’t any measures taken to stop piracy, which is a much larger issue? I am pretty sure that pirated copies of Marudhu will arrive in the market as early as Sunday. But if the Producers Council takes action, we can at least save next week’s releases.”
Earlier today, the police nabbed a bus driver and conductor for playing a pirated version of 24 on their bus, during a trip from Dindugal to Chennai. The police raided the bus at Koyambedu and seized pirated DVDs of several other new Tamil films. The raid was carried out with the help of Gnanavel Raja and a few Nadigar Sangam members,