The Tamil Film Producer's Council (TFPC) is likely to halt the releases of latest Tamil films for about three months to put movie pirates out of business.
On Sunday, at the general body meeting of TFPC, most of its members decided that the only way to stop the problem of video piracy is to stop releases of films for at least three months.
"Piracy will automatically stop when there's no content. When we stop film releases, say for three months, the movie pirates will go out of business. We are looking into this option because film producers have suffered heavily in the last 24 months," Kalaipuli S Thanu, TFPC president said.
"We haven't finalised on the decision yet. A resolution has been passed but we'd like to discuss the idea with all the parties involved and only when found beneficial for everybody, will we implement it. It's going to take some time," he said.
He also said need to be taken to develop better digital projection.
"Since all films are being released digitally, it's becoming easier for movie pirates to copy content. We need better digital projection measures. We will discuss with companies such as Qube and UFO to address this problem as well," he said.
The idea to ban release of films momentarily has come as a shocker to the industry.
"Piracy has become a menace, but stopping the release of films is not a solution. Filmmakers are already struggling to find a suitable window to release their films, and now this step to halt release of films will make it worse," a leading producer said.
"Each Friday, a minimum of three Tamil films are releasing in cinemas. If you stop release of films for three months, we are holding back about 36 films. Post the ban, these 36 films have to battle it out with more films for release, which looks impossible," he said.
Filmmaker Cheran, who last week released his new Tamil film Jk Ennum Nanbanin Vaazhkai via direct-to-home and DVD, said it's the "best option" available to stop piracy.
"If original DVD of a new film is available for Rs.50, why would anyone think of buying a pirated copy? We all know the quality of pirated prints. I've sold nearly Rs 10 lakh DVDs of my film in the first two days," he said.
"I don't mind if one person buys and shows it to his entire family. As long as people don't watch pirated version of any film, I'm happy to release my films on DVD. Most households today have access to digital TV, so new films can be released via direct-to-home medium as well," he added.
Cheran has plans to release his film Arjunan Kathali, which has been lying in the cans for long time, using the same model.
He has also floated a company called Cinema to Home (C2H), to facilitate the release of films directly to home.