Piracy. Is the industry Listening?

Piracy would be the No 1 competition for music and movie industry. Now why do the pirates survive and how come the police or the law not bringing them to justice? The answer would be simple. The public. There is a greater demand for pirated movie CDs, Audio CDs in India and the piracy business is booming like never before.

Although the law enforcers’ crack down (1 2) many piracy rackets all across India, we know places like National market In Bangalore, Bhima Palli in Trivandrum, Chor Bazaar in Mumbai still exists. We could see them often on the roads and street corners selling latest movie CDs. We can bargain with them on the price and watch new movies for as low as 20Rs.Now what is the police doing? Well it’s deplorable that the pirates sell this in public and right under their nose, so it doesn’t take rocket science to figure out that the police are paid off to keep away. 

Back in college, while I was doing my engineering there was one student who supplied pirated CDs. So where did he get all the CDs from? Interestingly his dad was a policeman who conducts raids at shops who sells pirated CDs. So the CDS were taken as evidence and it was all over our hostel!!!!! 

Now how can we stop piracy? What can the public do? What can the industry do?Answer to the Second question is simple, stop buying pirated CDS. Buy originals. However with the price tag on Hollywood movies reaching above 300Rs for a movie the common man would think otherwise. He would rather download it from torrent sites than shell out huge bucks.The answer to the third question would be the solution. The industry should wake up!. Sell movie CDs cheap, like what Moser Baer has already started doing. You would notice the crowd in front of Moser Baer CD counter at Land Mark Bangalore. Compare it with the crowd at other CD counters. That should explain the difference.Now it’s the turn of Hollywood movies to step up and sell cheap like Moser Baer.

I guess price under Rs 100 would be affordable to many who are looking forward to watch Hollywood movies. Next would be the music industry. Who cares about buying an Audio CD is you can download it for free? Well we could buy it if you sell it cheap. The public has spoken with the Moser Baer initiative, now is the industry listening?


  1. Good post Xylene. However I think the alternative is to become a member of a CD library. There is absolutely no need to buy pirated CD’s.

  2. I missed that out. Thanks for commenting.
    But personally I like buying it because, I can watch it anytime I want to.
    Also, the libraries are using CDs meant for home entertainment only !

  3. I think the situation is going to get even worse with Blu-Ray having won the war over HD-DVD. A blu-ray player costs something like Rs. 35000 and a blu-ray disc costs at least Rs. 2500. If the switch from HD-DVD to blu-ray takes place briskly, it’ll lead to a big time rise in piracy. The pirated DVD’s available right now for Rs. 100 will become even cheaper and since people will not be able to afford blu-ray right now, the downloading movies from torrents would only increase. You might stop yourself from buying a pirated DVD but most people won’t and quite frankly, it’s way too expensive right now. Another two years down the line, it maybe a different thing.

  4. I prefer pirated copies for hollywood movies because only ‘edited’ versions of the movie turn up here. For ex I downloaded a copy a american gangster and I also went to PVr and watched the movie a lot of scenes in the movie were missing at PVR!

    Moser Baer is the best thing that happened to Indian films.. I already have a good collection of old mallu movies =P..

  5. @ish,
    U are right. The higher the price, the bigger the piracy is gonna grow.
    That’s my whole point. let them reduce the price and the piracy will end.
    For eg, i wont get a pirated copy of a movie for Rs30 if I get the original for 50 or even 100. I think many wud agree.
    Blue ray is anothe story. If i need to watch a movie in blue ray disc, thats a huge investment for me NOW. But may be when things gets less costly we would switch. Like how the transition took from VCD to DVD (that was very quick)

    thats because the pirated ones are copied from either smuggled vcds or downloaded from the net.

    Thats the case even for original audio cds, I remember buying Eminem’s first album, and all i could hear was beep beep beep.
    I downloaded it ( with lot of patience, I had dialup !!!!!!!) to enjoy the original score. 😀

  6. So you know whom to blame for the piracy in the country! The censor board!

  7. @Balu
    yeah lets blame them too ! 😀 lol

  8. There’s a limit to which they can reduce the price I guess. They’ve got to think about their own margins too. Anything they do, the piracy guys can do better. What is the basic cost of making a pirated DVD? Not more than Rs. 30 I’d believe. And anyone can do it, you basically need DVD’s, an internet connection and a DVD writer. Not too big an investment. Something tells me piracy will end only when we stop using Physical media and start watching movies on demand and stuff like Steve Jobs says. But even then, there’s nothing that’s gonna stop p2p.

    The transition from DVD to Blu-ray will be interesting. Right now, it’s definitely out of the reach of common man. Let’s see how accessible it becomes till next year.

  9. @ish, I agree that they need their own margins.
    But when they have huge infrastucture and machines to make dvds on a large scale the cost will come down to less than 10Rs for sure (moser baer sells DVDs for 38Rs) cheaper than pirated ones.
    But their main expense would be getting the license and copyrights from the producer. that cud cost them some crores.
    But with the sale they make, they cud easily make huge profits.

  10. Good post and healthy debate

  11. Yeah, Moserbear is creating a revolution of a kind but the problem still remains the same. Moserbear gets you the rights only after a movie gets off from the theatres and there are movies which keep playing for more than a month. The problem maybe solved if the company concerned itself starts selling DVD’s with the release of the movie. But then the cinema owners will crib because not many would go to the cinema. So either one can wait for the movie to get off the cinema and for Moserbear to acquire the rights or he can download it for free right on the next day of the release of the movie. Obviously most of them will go for the second option. And moreover, those Rs. 100 DVD’s we buy have 4 or some movies on them too.

  12. @ish, I agree completely. They should be like the hollywood, who release the DVD in less than a month of the movie release.
    Also they shud try bundling up more movies on a DVD, but then we have to compromise on quality

  13. If we think about right now, not many people know what’s the difference between a CD and a DVD in terms of quality is. They just know that a DVD can have more number of movies whereas a CD can’t and that the DVD can store 4 Gigs of data whereas a CD can store 700MB. I don’t think a normal man would find much of a quality difference between a movie on a Blu-ray and a DVD. At least in India, we don’t really bother about prints and quality that much. Production houses like Dreamworks and Universal should really consider it, it might just work wonders.

  14. @ish
    Completely agree.
    Thats a very good suggestion. Iguess the hollywood production houses should think seriously about it !!!
    Now is the industry listening?? 🙂

  15. Is industry listening? Of course they are!why else will they start releasing cd/dvd at such cheap rates! timeliness is still an issue but cant blame distributors like moserbaer for that!
    About quality.. ya no one cares abt qualiy.. one reason why no one cares abt blu-ray or hd dvd here in India!

  16. Cost of making pirated dvd is less than Rs.5, Pirated CD is like Rs.1 or even less.

    Countries like India Pak etc., where penetration of Broadband is not that large are few of the only countries, where we have physical huge markets of pirated games,softwares and movies etc..

    As far as quality is concerned, you can wait for a movie to be like 3-6 months old, to get the best original like quality. Though quality of Physical DVD or CD might not be that high, so you might have to copy it your HDD or make a new DVD out of it.

    It doesn’t matter, how cheap do originals get. Since, like cost of downloading anything from Internet is almost free, so the grey market will always be somehow cheaper or almost free.

    Plus, its a human behavior, we somehow don’t want riches(movie makers, copyright holders etc) to make more money. So, we make the poorers(pirates)

    Also, Models like taking royalty from makers of blank cds etc has failed, coz. people now store data on ‘N’ number of storage medias available.

    So, Piracy can’t be stopped. Digital media is not static or stationary like Table or a chair that one can tie it to a particular location and it will stay there, its something free flowing, something that can be transferred by thousand means and stored in different mediums.

    I don’t know about India alone but globally even though piracy has increased, all industries like Music, Movie, software etc. are still experiencing record high sales, somehow.

    The only fuss is that its illegal, and not right.

  17. & Other then making it cheap, there should be good availability. Means, if I want a collection of Billboard top hits of the year 1959, I will have the option to buy only if there are available in my local music store, if not, I will download from internet, copy from a friend or buy from the pirates.

    So….the only solution to this could be this , Courtsey Toothpastefordinner.com

  18. @Anshul
    or ther should be customizable tracks for sale. like u can order for ur fav song on cd.. most of them dont want to buy the original audio cd coz they might want just one track and wont be willing to pay for the entire album.

  19. Yes, right. This has already been done elsewhere. But,Incase of movies software etc…this is not possible.

    Hey read this article, if you are interested or if you haven’t already.

  20. piracy is a very tricky issue
    i still have a post on movie distribution in my drafts
    the fact is that the movie tickets are bloody overpriced and the vcd and dvds aren’t released until a month from release , cutting of a mkt of people who dont have the inclination to goto a cinema

    i am against delayed releases of movies in india by us filmmakers as it is almost cheating

    on the other end the dvd vcds released are bloody expensive – dissuading folks to buy originals when a pirate gives them 3in1 dvd for 80 bucks

    the moser baer model is good but what is essential is that there should be some teleshop / net styled distribution to add some punch to it so people can order them at home

    the sad part is that most pirates are linked to organised crime and the dgang – do you know SADAF the paki pirate? he is related to the d gang

  21. xtlene
    Chor Bazaar in Mumbai keeps stuff like old furniture and trinkets and second hand stuff

    the main piracy happens in suburbs and that from the dgang happens at manish and sara mkt

  22. @Prax.
    wow. thats more info on piracy.
    Along the debate, we thought that 3 or more movies bundled into one could be sold by companies. Cheap.
    That would make more people into buying originals.

  23. […] unknown wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptPiracy would be the No 1 competition for music and movie industry. Now why do the pirates survive and how come the police or the law not bringing them to justice? The answer would be simple. We are responsible. There is a greater demand … […]

  24. Ever since Mosear Bear and other players with cheap DVDs have come out. I have started making my collection. Some of the Hollywood movies ARE available in cheap Mosear Bear version. I know I spelled Moser Bear incorrectly. Never mind.

  25. @Poonam,
    I call Moser Baer a home entertaintment revolution.
    Even i got a collection of Moser Baer cds. (i watched Jab we Met on MoserBaer !!

  26. I too think cuting price will help reduce piracy,
    but the most important cause of piracy is high pricing
    thanks to moserbaer & T-series to some extent I have a huge collection of Hindi VCD & DVD near about 350+ all Original
    I don’t belive in renting amovie as who will like to pay 40 Rs every time to watch a movie, & sometime the disc are very scratched also many video library mainly keeps VCDS & no DVD’s and perhaps everyone is aware that they also have pirated copies what they do is they buy one copy of original movie & make several copies of it for distribution.
    On the other hand have anyone checked the new way the shop keepers promotes piracy, we have a copy on original english movies & Hindi Movies DVD’s & they say these are Malaysian DVD’s & many people buys them because they are sold for just Rs 250, without loss of quality because you get exact copy of single English movie with all Special features for just Rs 250 wheraes the original would cost around Rs 600.

    We all know that Piracy market is hard to flush because its very temptating to see multiple good movies in one DVD at an affordable price, but we should Control
    I have done that & all Movie lover shoulds do it
    We know DVD’s are costly so I buyed VCD & will continue to do so

    For me I have strictly made a rule


  27. Just to update the current progress of pirated industry

    DVD of 6-8 movies is available @ Rs. 20
    Blu-ray Disc of 60 movies is available @ Rs. 100

    I am sure the price of blu ray will come down to Rs.40-50 within a few months

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