Leela falls victim to piracy

Taken for a ride:A frame of the movie Leela.  

Director Ranjith’s new film Leela had broken new grounds with its release online for viewers outside India. But, along with the huge, hitherto untapped opportunities for Malayalam cinema, the online release had also raised concerns about the possibilities of piracy, notwithstanding the measures taken to prevent it.

It has not taken much time for those concerns to become real. On Tuesday, the film, which was released in theatres on Friday, was available for free view online. Thousands have already watched it.

Ranjith, who is also the producer and distributor of the film, said a complaint was lodged with the police. “I am told that the film was uploaded from a server in the United States,” he told The Hindu . “The police should be able to track down those who are behind the piracy.”

He said he was aware of the possibilities of piracy when he opted for the film’s online release, through the portal reelax.in, owned by the Saudi Arabia-based Eram Group. One could watch the film paying a fee.

“To counter piracy, we had ensured that the Internet Protocol (IP) address of the computer on which Leela would be screened,” Ranjith said. “Those who have uploaded the film have masked the IP address.”

Ranjith said the film’s online release had attracted a good response. “More than 6,000 people have already watched it,” he said. “And it is attracting more and more viewers online.”

He added that Leela was also doing good business at the box office. “The circulation of the pirated copy is a blow to the film,” he admitted.

Cyber cell inquiry

Staff Reporter writes from Thiruvananthapuram: The cyber cell is conducting an inquiry to track those who uploaded the movie in piracy websites and in some Facebook pages.

A release from Eram infotech, owner of the portal reelax.in in which the movie was premiered online, said the movie was screen captured from the website and uploaded online.

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Printable version | Apr 22, 2021 2:42:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/leela-falls-victim-to-piracy/article8526264.ece

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