The Telugu Film Producers' Council and the AP Film Chamber of Commerce on Sunday expressed confidence that the government would take pro-active steps to curb the menace of piracy.

The Cabinet giving the nod on Friday for Sub-Inspectors of Police to raid places screening pirated versions of films through various modes was a step in the right direction, said Council president and producer of hit film ‘Arundhati' M. Shyamprasad Reddy.

Curbing of piracy falls under the purview of the ‘Exhibition of Films on Television Screens Through Video Cassette Recorder (Regulation) Act. “Earlier, only a Deputy Superintendent of Police was authorised to conduct such raids. This made the task of clamping down on the pirates tough because DSPs had many important responsibilities. Even logistically-speaking, it was difficult for us to organise a raid. Now, with SIs being empowered, it becomes relatively easy for a distributor/exhibitor to coordinate a raid with the officer,” Mr. Reddy explained.

The other important aspect of anti-piracy involved was acceding to the demand of producers in increasing the number of prints of low-budget films from 35 to 70. “This will vastly improve the chances for producers, distributors and exhibitors of such films to recover the cost of production,” said producer and Chamber Secretary K.C. Sekhar Babu. Explaining that reference to ‘low-budget' did not necessarily mean the production cost, he said it all depended on the large number of screens and areas which could be covered if the prints were increased.

“Even for a big-budget film like ‘Magadheera', it does not make financial sense to be released with a relatively less prints because then it would mean less coverage of screens/areas. By the time a film is screened first in a particular distribution area and goes on to the next, pirated versions would already be doing the rounds,” he said.