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The big debate over film rights

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A collection of Tamil movie CDs. Photo: K. Pichumani
A collection of Tamil movie CDs. Photo: K. Pichumani

S.R. Ashok Kumar

Two major developments keep the film industry worried

CHENNAI: Two developments have worried the mainstream Tamil film industry lately.

A pirated version of a recent movie "Paruthi Veeran" was discovered even before the film was released.

Then optical disc makers Moserbaer introduced film CDs for Rs.28 each and film DVDs for Rs.34. The company is releasing more than half a dozen titles daily. Their catalogue has 170 Tamil films.

On the other side, rates of admission into most theatres in the city have been fixed at a maximum of Rs.50. Do film industry members think they can overcome the onslaught?

K. Rajagopal (KRG), of the South Indian Film Chamber, said: "I am happy that the State Government has done the best for the film industry. They will certainly take all this into account and do the needful in future. Nobody can stop scientific developments. We can only introduce regulations and carry on with our business."

Sarath Kumar, president, South Indian Artists Association, said no problems would arise as long as simultaneous releases did not happen. "There is a rule that CD or DVD rights can be granted only after three years of the movie's release. So there is no problem."

Abirami Ramanathan, president, City Theatre Owners Association, said they had to deal with the situation. "We must learn to live with it. Nobody can stop scientific advancements. . But if exhibitors make theatres more comfortable, the audience will come back. Producers, while granting rights for CDs and DVDs of their films, should hand it over on the day of the film's release so that the authority possessing the rights will take measures to check piracy."

Anbalaya Prabhakaran, vice-resident, Tamil Film Producers Council, said the same rules valid for satellite television applied here. "We have drawn a list of 15 actors whose films would be granted rights only after 3 years for satellite television and the same follows for Indian CD, DVD and 16 mm rights. We have brought in these regulations after discussions with the Tamil Nadu Film Distributors Federation. If old films were screened nobody would be ready to go to the theatres. and see it. So if the producer is getting some money why to deprive them?

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