TWO MAJOR PIRACY SYNDICATES BUSTED - First Successful Joint Operation by the MPDA (India) - APFCC Content Protection Alliance
HYDERABAD: Between June 7th- 29th 2012, Andhra Pradesh CID Police, with the Assistance of the Anti –Video Piracy Cell - Andhra Pradesh Film Chamber of Commerce (APFCC) and Motion Picture Dist. Association India and carried out its first successful operation against two major organized criminal syndicates concentrated in South India. These are the first operations conducted as a result of the MOU between the MPDA and APFCC signed in late March 2012.
The first operation resulted in the arrest of a Chennai-based individual named Rajendra Puvvadi running a syndicate specializing in camcording and burning pirated copies of CDs and DVDs. Investigations revealed that the accused was involved in shipping over half a million illegal DVDs with a total value of INR 40,928,015 (USD $716,000).
The second operation resulted in the arrest of two individuals, Mr. Kathula Chaitanya in Hyderabad and Mr. Praneeth Motamarri in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh. They are accused of running a syndicate specializing in internet piracy based in Hyderabad. The syndicate owned three illegal websites and uploaded movie titles to over 22 international cyber lockers. They have uploaded over 1450 pirated movies in all languages including Telugu and Hollywood. The web sites run by then have generated 20.9 Million illegal downloads and has caused an approximate revenue loss of 209 Million INR to the Film Industry.
These investigations and subsequent raids and arrests represent the first major operations of the joint MPDA-APFCC investigative team since the signing of the MOU in late March 2012. MPDA’s cooperation with APFCC has proven extremely effective, and we are optimistic that we will continue to work together to successfully bring down criminals and criminal syndicates who pose grave threats to legitimate content distribution in India.
The APFCC and MPDA are thankful to the Addl. DGP CID of Andhra Pradesh Sri.Ramana Murthy and the entire CID team for their swift and efficient action.
“In the last one year, with a more focussed approach, the Anti Video Piracy Cell of APFCC has made some significant breakthroughs in combating online and physical piracy. We are being ably supported by the Government of Andhra Pradesh and the Enforcement Agencies. We have been able to forge important partnerships like that of the Motion Picture Distributors Association. With more collaborative efforts with other Indian Film Industries, we are very hopeful that we will be able to root out Piracy in time to come” said Mr. D.Suresh Babu President AP Film Chamber of Commerce.
“We commend the efforts of the local police and our alliance partner APFCC which has resulted in the arrests of 2 major camcording syndicates who were involved in the widespread theft of Hollywood and local titles. We will continue our efforts to target similar syndicates who are the root cause for source piracy.” said Mr. Uday Singh, Managing Director- Motion Picture Dist. Association (India).
“We have been focussing on the four areas of Enforcement, Outreach, Policy making and Capacity building in our fight against Piracy. We are happy that our multipronged approach is bearing results and it enables us move forward with greater confidence. The Production houses are seeing tangible results due to the concerted efforts. The revenues are increasing in the initial weeks when we are able to control piracy. We want to carry a sustained effort in the direction of eradicating Piracy”, said Rajkumar Chairman Anti Video Piracy Cell, APFCC.
On March 23, 2012, the Motion Picture Distributors Association (India), who represents the MPA in India, and the Andhra Pradesh Film Chamber of Commerce, signed an MOU designed to pool resources and jointly tackle issues such as camcording, online content theft, cable theft, and to promote public awareness and education campaigns on the importance of content protection.
In June 2012, Indian Law enforcement, with the assistance of the MPDA and APFCC, carried out two independent operations against major organized criminal syndicates concentrated in South India. These are the first operations conducted since the signing of the MOU.
The Physical Piracy Syndicate
The first operation took place on June 8, 2012 and resulted in the arrest of an individual named Rajendra Puvvadi. Puvvadi is accused of running a Chennai-based syndicate specializing in pirated copies of CDs and DVDs. He has been on the list of ’Most Wanted Pirates’ compiled by the APFCC and submitted to the Andhra Pradesh police.
Law enforcement officers made the arrest in Hyderabad based on intelligence gathered by the joint MPDA - APFCC team and local police. Investigations immediately following the raid showed that the individual was the head of a large-scale camcording and burning operation. Camcorded copies of movies were burned onto DVDs and then sold in bulk to street-level vendors throughout the region. Evidence was obtained showing He has shipped at least 5.45 lakh pirated DVDs in the last 9 months, with a total value of INR 40,928,015 (USD $716,000).These included 54 MPA member company titles and 94 Telugu movie titles.
The Modus operandi of Rajendra Puvvadi is as follows: He has been making pirated label designs for all new films in combination with other new films and getting them printed atleast one week in advance of the respective films release, at mainly two off set printing presses in Chennai. He then has been cam cording new movies illegally through his accomplices, in various cinema theatres in Chennai and else where across AP.
He then has been making large number of pirated copies, on an average about 50 thousand to 90 thousand DVDs per film and distributing to his customers across cities and states. The CID and Anti-Piracy team have found details, email ids and correspondence of 87 customers and 30 Vendors across Cities.
Rajendra also has been uploading the illegal cam corded versions of the films on to his ftp site and sharing his password with his other customers and online partners to spread it across websites.
The ONLINE PIRACY SYNDICATE
The second operation was conducted on June 17, 2012 and resulted in the arrest of two individuals in Hyderabad and the arrest of a third individual in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh.
The Online Piracy Syndicate is run by Praneeth motamarri from Vijayawada. It is found that both his parents are in Senior Positions in Two National Banks. His father with Andhra Bank and his mother with Corporation Bank. Praneeth has been operating several bank accounts in his name and his relatives and friends names and has obtained Pay pal, Payoneer and Alert Pal accounts to monetize the illegal content, he was uploading onto torrent sites and web sites run by him. He has received hundreds of dollars through these activities from the preliminary findings. Praneeth Motamarri owns two pirate torrent sites called www.spicyden.com and www.desibuffer.com.
In all, Praneeth Motamarri has been maintaining 7 Bank accounts, 6 fake ids to upload pirated content and movie links on to various websites. He has 5 PayPal email ids. He owns 3 pirate websites. Besides he has been uploading pirated content onto at least 22 cyber lockers, including www.filefactory.com, www.putlocker.com, www.dropbox.com, www.turbobit.net, www.extrabit.com, www.bayfiles.com, www.videoweeds.com, www.novamov.com www.flashx.com and so on.
When the CID team raided his premises, the accused were caught uploading 28 films from various languages. He has been using 3 remote desktop servers to conceal their identities and carry out his activities.
1. PAKDEVS, German server, Bandwidth speed=4GBPS
2. www.spicy.leafleech.info, Bandwidth Speed=1GBPS
3. www.spicyden.leafmyrl.info, Bandwidth Speed=2GBPS Netherland, leafleech.com
Apparently a server of 4 GBPS can upload a 4 GB DVD in one second.
In all Praneeth has uploaded 1450 pirated movies. Of this 1124 are on www.spicyden.com and 326 on www.desibuffer.com
Total Movies Uploaded and distributed from his own website www.desibuffer.com
1. Telugu Movies =193 ;Tamil Movies = 43 ; Hindi Movies = 90; Total Movies Available = 326
Total Movies Uploaded and distributed from his own website www.spicyden.com
1. Telugu Movies = 161 ; Tamil Movies = 138 ; Malayalam Movies= 13 ; Hindi Movies = 190
Estimated Loss to Industry:
The pirated files he has uploaded have generated a total of 12.6 Million Downloads/Online views in the last two and half years. The estimated loss, due to this activity, if a tentative value of Rs.100 per download is assigned, would be Rs. 126 Million INR.
The total downloads have been calculated by the seeds, peers and IP address of online views in the respective websites Control panel.
Contact Details of other Infringing websites: The CID team has found 288 contact details including the emails of top infringing website owner/moderators/admins/uploaders/suppliers.
The said Mr. Praneeth Motamarri has been arrested on 18-06-2012 under the instructions of the Addl.DGP CID Sri. Ramana Murthy by DSPs of CID – Economic Offences Wing, Sri. K Uday Baskar reddy and Sri. K Venkata Kishore and the accused sent to cherlapally jail by the order from Court.
The Operations were monitored by CID SP- Sri Mahendra Kumar Rathore.
Some of the latest Hollywood Films uploaded by him are Piranha , Madagaskar -3, Journey-2, Men in Black 3, Prometheus, Puss in Boots, Rock of Ages, The Avengers. Some of the Telugu films he has uploaded recently include Adhinayakudu, Daruvu, Dhammu, Rachha, Gabbar Singh and so on.
The syndicate has been operating as a group of about 40-50 people spread across AP, Tamilnadu and even outside of India including at least one person each from Eluru, Warangal, Tirupathi and Bangalore who are responsible for cam cording new films and providing the first guy with the master copies. The rest are responsible for distribution and circulation of pirated goods.
Some of the members of this group have a fake Anti-Piracy Agency (by the name Andhra Anti Piracy Company) and have approached various gullible producers in recent times and obtained authorization letters and collected money from them to ‘protect’ their films from Piracy.
Praneeth Motamarri was supported in his activities by his friend and accomplice Kattula Krishna Chaitanya a B.Tech graduate in Kukatpally, Hyderabad.
Kattula Chaitanya owns a pirate site called www.tollyzone.com. He has been maintaining 1 Bank account, 4 fake ids to upload pirated content on to various websites. He has 5 PayPal email ids. He owns 1 pirate website. Besides he has been uploading pirated content onto at least 25 cyber lockers, including www.amaderforum.com, www.downloadsguru.com, www.southcreation.com ,www.desirulez.com,www.southdownloads.com,www.123tamilforum.com,www.downloadsmasti.com ,www.bollycorner.com, www.warez-bb.org , www.warezadda.comand so on. In all he has uploaded 874 pirated movies till now.
Movies Available in his own website: 1.Telugu Movies: 520 2. Hindi Movies: 210 3. Tamil: 144
Estimated Loss to Industry :
The pirated files he has uploaded have generated a total of 8.3 Million Downloads/Online views in the last two and half years. If a tentative value of Rs.100 is assigned per each illegal download, the estimated loss, due to this activity would be Rs. 83 Million INR. The total downloads have been calculated by the seeds, peers and IP address of online views in the respective websites Control panel.
Kattula Chaitanya has been arrested on 18-06-2012 under the instructions of the Addl.DGP CID Sri. Ramana Murthy by DSPs of CID – Economic Offences Wing, Sri. K Uday Baskar reddy and Sri. K Venkata Kishore and the accused sent to cherlapally jail by the order from Court. The Operations were monitored by CID SP- Sri Mahendra Kumar Rathore
It was also found that one Mr.Gopi Mosali who owns a web technology company called Leelam Technologies in Raj Bhavan Road Hyderabad has been providing the maintenance, hosting and designing services for the pirate websites for both Praneeth motamarri and Kattula Chaitanya. Gopi Mosali himself is found to be having 6 bank accounts, 4 PayPal ids a number of foreign remittances in his accounts. Further investigations are on at this time.