Anti-piracy cell registers cases against 1,010 for downloading the film

In what is billed as a first-of-its-kind initiative in the country, the anti-piracy cell of the Kerala Police has registered cases against 1,010 persons for illegally uploading or downloading on the Internet the Malayalam movie Bachelor Party.

This includes a Keralite engineering student based in Vaashi, Navi Mumbai, and the Coimbatore-based website Tamil Rockers, a press note issued here on Saturday by the anti-piracy cell said.

Over the last 10 days, 30,000 persons were found to have seen Bachelor Party illegally on the Net. The IP addresses of 1,010 persons have already been identified. The anti-piracy cell, the hi-tech cell, and Jadoo Tech Private Solutions — a Kochi-based private firm which did the cyber patrolling for the police — have initiated steps to collect the names and addresses of the persons whose IP addresses have been traced.

An investigation by the anti-piracy cell revealed that the illegal viewing of the film was done by persons based in the U.S., the U.K., the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Ireland, the Philippines, China, South Africa, Uganda, Algeria, Botswana, Kazakhstan, and Pakistan. Within the country, the illegal viewings were reported from New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Rajasthan, Lucknow, Kapurthala, Tirunelveli, Coimbatore, Puducherry, Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Ernakulam, Kozhikode, Kottayam, and Palakkad.

The CD/DVD/mobile phone/Internet/memory card rights for Bachelor Party were secured by Sajithan, who owns the Thrissur-based firm Movie Channel. The CDs of the movie were brought out by this company on August 19, 2012. Within two days, Mr. Sajithan submitted a complaint to the anti-piracy cell against the site Tamil Rockers and against 16 IP addresses from where the film had been illegally uploaded to the Net. The subsequent investigation was carried out by a team of police officials headed by the anti-piracy nodal officer and Inspector General of Police B. Sandhya.

A month ago, the CDs of the films Ordinary and Grand Master released by the same company were illegally seen on the Net by 30 lakh and 12 lakh persons respectively, the press note said. In July this year, the anti-piracy cell arrested Abhilash from Thrissur while he was illegally uploading the film Snehaveedu on the Net. Legal action was also initiated against 30 persons working for social sites that illegally hosted Malayalam movies. About 15 laptops were also seized from different locations in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka.

Investigation by the anti-piracy cell of the Kerala police is currently on in 10 cases of Internet misuse. About 70 cases of copyright infringement have been registered in Kerala and outside and about 100 persons have been arrested in this connection.

The illegal sharing of Bachelor Party on the Net comes at a time when the arrest of 15 persons in April for pirating movies from theatres and the consequent non-availability of pirated CDs had led to a substantial increase in the government’s income from theatres, the press note added.