The media and entertainment conglomerate Viacom18 Media Pvt Ltd has filed a criminal complaint against an incident that occurred in Bengaluru involving the illegal uploading and distribution of its most recent film, Laal Singh Chaddha. According to a statement from Viacom18, such websites result in significant losses for producers, content owners, and creators as a result of their illegal activities. The company added that this arrest may pave the way for the exposure of larger pirate networks and the prosecution of those responsible.
“Viacom18 pledges its continuous support in the fight against piracy. We shall continue our endeavour to create a secure and piracy free space. It is important to take proactive measures to prevent piracy or infringement,” Anil Lale, general counsel for Viacom18, stated in a statement. “We believe it is even more important to be involved and actively participate in the execution process to give effect to the larger interest we are trying to achieve,” he added.
Digital piracy authority MUSO reports that online film piracy surged by 62% in India in the last week of March 2020 compared to the last week of February. According to MUSO, other countries had surges of 41% in the US, 43% in the UK, 50% in Spain, and 66% in Italy.
Media experts point to messaging and voice services like Telegram and social networks like Helo, which acknowledge the concerns of filmmakers and owners of intellectual property rights but are also traffic-hungry and lack necessary safeguards. With 6.5 billion visits in 2021, India ranked third globally in the number of people accessing piracy websites, largely due to lockdown-induced norms of staying at home and the digital pivot.
According to a survey by cybersecurity and cloud service provider Akamai Technologies, the US is ranked first, and Russia is ranked second.