Cyber Pirates Rule The Roost- Illegal Downloads Must Stop

Movie Piracy
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The popularity and efficacy of the internet has given rise on cyber pirates who are constantly on the prowl.

Original content is made available on the internet for free, clearly infringing upon the copyright holders’ Intellectual Property Rights and causing huge revenue losses for authors, film makers, photographers and content writers. 

Several thousand movies, television serials, books, text books, manual and millions of photographs are available for free download on these questionable websites using torrents and other means.

Illegal downloads of Bollywood movies like Aiyaari, Udta Punjab, Dishoom and the popular series, Game Of Thrones caused huge damage to their copyright holders. Besides content. pirated software is also freely available on the internet that could also cause damage to computers and infected devices.

Taking cognisance of this rampant piracy, The State Cyber Police served notices to 100 websites after scanning over 9000 sites that uploaded pirated music albums and movies. They have also stated that FIRs would be lodged against them if they are found uploading pirated content again.’

Offenders could attract three-year imprisonment and fine of up to Rs 3 lakh for downloading, exhibiting or duplicating an illicit copy of copyrighted content under sections 63, 63-A, 65 and 65-A of the Copyright Act, 1957.

The minimum jail term for software copyright infringement is seven days, and the maximum jail term is three years. Statutory fines range from a minimum of 50,000 to a maximum of 200,000 rupees.

Film makers, Author, Producers can seek a ‘John Doe’ order from the court to protect their Intellectual Property from copyright infringement.

Special IG- Cyber, Maharashtra Police, Brijesh Singh was quoted recently as having said, “Action has been initiated because film producers and others from the entertainment industry suffer massive losses when their content is not purchased and pirated version of the same is uploaded.

“In July, the DCU (Digital Crime Unit) started a pilot project and zeroed in on around 9,000 websites where pirated content has been uploaded.

“We finally shortlisted 1,300 such websites. Stringent norms are in place against pirated content in the US and the UK, but it is a normal practise in South-East Asian countries.

In India, we have anti-piracy laws, but there is no proper machinery to implement them, Brijesh Singh added.

“What we are facing now is something which beset us a decade ago,” says Dhiraj Kotkar, Producer/ Director.

“We have jumped generations in the film business. There was a company in the west called ‘block buster videos’ that bought movie rights of Hollywood films and of films that were made for DVD.

They didn’t have official theater release. Films were made in those days only for DVDS and DTH. But we skipped that generation and this in my opinion, affected our film business.

“Post this, came the theatrical release era which is an expensive route. Indian cinema loses around half a billion or more dollars due to piracy and I think we can curb that when movies are not only made for theatrical release.

Digital content is everywhere and once leaked cannot be controlled easily. The very next day after an official release, the content is available online. 

“One route could be by rationalising the theater pricing structure, to induce people to watch movies there. The other option could be to make movies for DTH, or only digital and then everything will be set right. It is probably the best way of controlling the piracy,” adds Kotkar.

Piracy will end only if we citizens stop patronising this. Most people who buy or download pirated copies are not even aware that they are committing a crime.

Also, online piracy is very difficult to handle with hundreds of online sites mushrooming every day. The ideal thing would be to create awareness and stop the download of these pirated copies,” shares Deepika Kumari, a computer science student.

What You Can Do:

Avoid using unauthenticated websites and refrain from giving out personal information.

Children must be permitted to use only website that require parental confirmation before the child can enter any personal information.

Avoid buying pirated books, CDs, DVDs, and downloads from online sites.

Reliable website also give references and credits to original writers Site references and give due credits to the original writers and creators to avoid copyright infringement.

Loveleen Kaur

Loveleen Kaur

She loves travelling, dogs, sarcasm, humour and anything that spells F O O D, in that order. A writer on a journey to make positive stories a morning ritual and give society what it needs the most - optimism !!

Reach her at or tweet @KaurKaur18
Loveleen Kaur