Piracy moves from the streets to cyberspace | india | Hindustan Times
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Piracy moves from the streets to cyberspace

Your pirated compact disc vendor is going places. From selling audio and video CDs by the wayside, he has now moved online, sources in the Mumbai police have said, reports Debasish Panigrahi.

india Updated: Aug 10, 2009 02:05 IST
Debasish Panigrahi

Your pirated compact disc vendor is going places.

From selling audio and video CDs by the wayside, he has now moved online, sources in the Mumbai police have said.

Until recently, such vendors solicited buyers on the streets.

However, an ordinance now put in place calls for a year of imprisonment, thus nudging second generation pirates to set up shop online, the sources added.

Here’s how they see it: Not only does it leave behind evidence, the ‘soft’ version also foxes the police.

Highly placed police sources said that Central agencies had recently been tipped off about pirates doing business under the shrouded of anonymity provided by the Internet.

The soft pirates, the police said, upload the video on a site opened exclusively for the purpose. And then, they intimate buyers —old, trustworthy clients — by word of mouth.

Phone calls, text messages and e-mails are used to pass word around. The customer is given the site’s address and its password to download the uploaded audio/video.

The charges? Same as what one would pay around the street corner.

The software-savvy pirates ensure that their commercial interest is not exploited as a password can be used only once, after which it becomes obsolete.

For every new release (of films/audio), a new site is created which is erased after a month, leaving behind no trace.

Internet guru Vijay Mukhi told Hindustan Times that this form of piracy had got a shot in the arm after Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd started providing (unlimited) broadband service at Rs 1,600 per month.

He, however, said that though pirates think they can subvert the law, it was not so. “Every upload is registered with the service provider and culprits can be traced, no matter from which part of the globe they operate,” he said, adding that with the service provider’s support, such pirates and their clients can be traced.

“If pirates go online, we (the police) too should go on their trail online,” he said.