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‘We need stricter piracy laws’

Say the makers of Chance Pe Dance, the songs of which are available online before its music release.

entertainment Updated: Dec 15, 2009 19:05 IST
Hiren Kotwani

It’s common for a film’s music to be available on the Internet for downloading after being released officially. But if the soundtrack is uploaded online before that, it can become a cause of concern.

That’s what’s worrying the makers of the Shahid Kapoor-Genelia D’Souza starrer Chance Pe Dance, the songs of which were available on the website: dhintana.com two days before the official release of the music album. Director Ken Ghosh, who learnt about the songs going online on Sunday, is shocked.

“The news really got to me because they came at a time when I was working on the post-production. It’s strange and ridiculous,” said an agitated Ghosh, adding, “It’s not as if the album is overpriced or beyond the reach of a common man. It’s reasonably priced.”

So helpless
Lamenting at the industry’s helplessness in curbing piracy Ghosh cautions that these activities can’t be tracked through the Internet. “It’s a long trail, and we don’t know where it starts and ends. Merely asking people to fight piracy or illegal free downloads is not enough. When I discovered it, I passed on the information to T-Series that’s releasing the album,” adds Ghosh.

Vinod Bhanushali of T-Series states that the leak hasn’t happened at their end. But he concedes that it could have happened when the cassettes and CDs were being sent to centres across India.

“Once we send the audio to various centres, someone could have stolen a copy in transit and sold it to the website,” he explains.
However, he feels that the person flicking a copy has nothing to gain from selling it to a website.

“There’s no monetary benefit because the music is being downloaded free of cost. It’s not like a video or film piracy, which ensures earnings for every DVD sold. People indulging in theft should be more thoughtful because it causes a loss of revenue for everyone involved,” he points.

Bhanushali rues the lack of stricter laws for cyber crime because culprits always escape unpunished. “Whenever we track someone, either the servers are not within the Indian territory, or the lack of stern laws helps the guilty to get away,” he says. According to Bhanushali, these incidents recur though they try hard to create with innovative marketing strategies to combat music piracy.

“Apart from audio cassettes and CDs, we also release the soundtrack in pen drives, so that adds to the utility value of the product. We did that with the music of Blue, and now 3 Idiots to reach out to maximum consumers and with greater convenience,” he says.

And the precautions are...
Nevertheless, Bhanushali is optimistic that the music of Chance Pe Dance will do well because “it’s just been two days since it was uploaded. The promos have been on air for a while, so those who want to buy the CDs will still prefer original content,” he asserts.
While Bhanushali agrees of more caution for transportation of the cassettes and CDs, he rules out high security.

However, he thinks his company takes adequate precautions at the distribution level. “We’re in touch with sites like Google and have categorically got them to remove content that we haven’t generated from their servers. There are laws to check distribution in countries like China and Singapore, and it’s high time such laws are made here too. That would make a huge difference,” Bhanushali says.

Until then, the producers of Chance Pe Dance are keeping their fingers crossed and taking precautions against piracy that could affect the film when it releases on January 15.