Telugu film industry in all-out war against piracy: Suresh Babu
Gunasekhar, owner of Gowrishankar theatre in Varadayapalem of Chittoor district and another person Loganatham, were arrested by police in a joint operation with members of the A.P. Film Chamber of Commerce (APFCC).
At a press conference here on Saturday, APFCC president and producer D. Suresh Babu said it was the first time a theatre owner himself was being arrested. Lakshman Rao, an executive of Suresh Productions in Tirupati, filed a complaint with the police that their film ‘Eega’ was being pirated from the said theatre in Satyavedu mandal, following which police stepped up their vigil and caught the offenders.
“This is just the beginning. With active support and coordination between the State police, our own experts in the Anti-Piracy Cell, producers and directors, we are determined to go the full hog. It is saddening for the industry and the filmmakers when pirates leverage technology and rob us of rightful revenue, apart from hurting our feelings,” Mr. Suresh, who presented the film, declared.
Asked about the monetary loss to the industry, the producer declared it would be difficult to put a price for the thousands of uploads and downloads and for duplication of the film on pirated video compact discs (VCD) or digital video discs (DVD). “But if one were to start estimating the damage, it could easily run into hundreds of crores of rupees for the industry. We feel that without piracy, our films could attract anywhere between 30 and 50 per cent of revenues,” he said.
Among others present were ‘Eega’ director S.S. Rajamouli, producers ‘Sravanthi’ Ravikishore (‘Endukante Premanta’), Burugupalli Sivaramakrishna (‘Dharuvu’), Ashok Kumar and president of the Telangana FCC, Vijayender Reddy.
The APFCC is the first in the country to have a full-fledged, 24/7 Anti-Piracy Cell that monitors uploads in cyberspace, said its chairman A. Rajkumar.