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Open Letter regarding Video Piracy
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An open letter regarding Video Piracy

Hello All

These days we hear a lot about piracy. From software to songs, to movie tapes to any thing that can be copied. The big story these days and talk of the town is how we can control piracy. These are some of my thoughts on how we can control piracy. My main focus is on the Telugu movie copies only (Those that are often referred to Camera-Prints or Pirated DVD copies).

To begin with, what is the need for some one to go through the trouble of carrying a video camera (camcorder) to a movie theater and record the entire movie? Most of the time they have to hold the camera in hand, conceal it from others etc. What is the need?

The need derives from those people. Need is for film lovers to watch these movies!

The NEED of Telugu-movie-lovers is what is causing this piracy. While they are away from the homeland they still want to watch and enjoy these movies. The love & liking of these resident people is what is causing this piracy. If you look at a positive angle, it is a blessing in disguise.

But with piracy the major issue is the artists are not getting the remuneration they are entitled to. This is a VERY major concern. Not only the artists are not getting the remuneration, but also the customers are not happy with these tapes. A popular myth is that customer like pirated tapes! Let me assure you that when some one spends about $200 to buy a good quality digital player (VHS or DVD) and spend another $300 to $3000 (Average) on a complete home theater system package they are not thrilled to watch these sub standard dark shaky images.

In short piracy is a Loose-Loose situation. No one is getting any thing expect the middleman, who is minting money. So please stop blaming the customer.

Well, even when we know that this is a Loose-Loose situation, still it is very prevalent.

Let me list some of the reasons:

1. Not all these customers (movie go-ers) are in the reach of a movie theater where they screen these movies. Whether in India or around the world. (As most of these producers these days tell).

2. When they do screen in locations (typically like one or two screens in major cities), it is not always convenient for all the people to watch (With the limited audience it is not economically viable to screen these movies for weeks!) Also Not all movies are shown in all the cities around the globe (or where these customer are located)

Now here is my 2-cents suggestion to the Telugu movie industry.

Why don't these producers release these movies on DVDs & VHS tapes?

- YES VHS tapes too. Not all people own these expensive DVD players
- A recent survey in USA, states that only 35% of US residents own DVD players
- Even if they own they may not like to pay $3 when they can pay less for a VHS tape. (Since most of the places where they rent Indian movies, will buy a single copy and make VHS copies.. again same piracy issue)
- Sell these original tapes to those who rent them (Indian Video rentals/stores). This way they are all legal.

Now why don't these producers release the original tapes & discs?

I know some of them do release them after a while, but until they are released they are not announced. It would greatly help if they announce when it would be out on Tapes & DVD along with the movie release. Would that be too hard?

Is it too much to ask these producers to get these movies out on DVDs & Tapes in a timely manner and announced ahead of time?

That way the customer can get to see a movie in a nice original print and will wait since we know it will be out on a defined date.

I guess these producers know that is how Hollywood runs their business. People who want to see on big screen do so, rest wait for the tapes & DVD since they do come out on a pre announced date.(Typically announced along with the theatrical release).

In summary, I request that these producers release these movies on DVS & VHS tapes (NTSC Format) and announce the day when they would be out. This will put an automatic end to piracy. It will be a Win-Win situation of artists, producers & us the customers!

All comments are welcome.

(Hope producers would take a look at this)

[email protected]

Note from Editor: Thank you for the wonderful letter. We would be passing this letter to as many producers as possible who thrive to kill video piracy.

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You can send your open letters to [email protected]
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