Monday, 18 January 2010


Note: This is my second post for the blog. For the last two weeks I had lost my internet connection and as such could not post anything. But those two weeks made me think whether I was misusing the internet. That is how I came up with idea for this article. Thanks for reading!

Piracy is a worldwide phenomenon. Thousands of megabytes of data are being uploaded by the hour. And double of that amount is being downloaded. It is an undeniable fact that we ourselves have been encouraging such activities. But have we ever felt guilty? Chances are very low because we ourselves know how serious this is but we still continue this practice. But have considered the amount of money that the original creators of such content incur. By money I mean not just a few dollars, but millions!
Let us consider the case study of the movie industry. Every year around 250 movies are released by the Hollywood industry. Being a studio based industry; the major players are Warner Bros., Paramount, Columbia Pictures, Universal and Disney. As of recent, these studios have been releasing their movies on home video format after a short stint at the theatres. Now why would studios do that when they cold make more profits through a wide theatrical release? The answer lies in the fact that piracy has grown into such a major force that they are forced to resort such vain attempts. By doing so they plan to bring movies directly to the audiences and discourage piracy. But this would have multitude of effects:
·         Theatre owners would restrict such a motion because it would reduce the income that they would earn
·         But this would not necessarily mean any decrease in piracy, considering the high price of such format. People would still continue to download movies from torrent sites.
 In the latest of such series of such motions, the latest one involves Columbia Pictures ‘Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs’. The studio green lit the idea of releasing the movie on DVD and Blu Ray just 3 months prior to its release. But theatre owners disagreed with this and many of them protested against this by removing the movie from its show slots.
Secondly, only ardent moviegoers would take the effort to go and watch movies at theatres.  They’d rather sit back at home and enjoy in their own privacy at the cost of millions for the studios.  So such early releasing of movies on home video would also not be a suitable step. After all when you get it for free, who’d pay for it!!
But as of recent there has been an increased interest for movies being released in 3D format. Last year, around 12 movies were released on 3D format. This has re-ignited an interest among the audience to ‘experience’ a movie than plainly watching it. With James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’ raking in big bucks at the box office and speculations that it might be one of the biggest movie of all time, audiences are returning back to theatres. Hopefully, with an increasing number of movies being lined up for a 3D release, thid trend would continue and as such piracy would be curbed.

Arun Pramajan Achu

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