Lucknow a prospering market for pirated CDs and DVDs

September 27, 2009

Bollywood Piracy 250x165Lucknow, “You can get it, though the print is not very clear. But you will not have a problem watching it,” says a roadside vendor in the Naka market when asked if a CD or a DVD of Salman Khan’s new movie “Wanted” is available.

Pirated CDs and DVDs of the film that was released last week were at over 100 shops in the market where electronic items are sold, many at throwaway prices.

“We get a camcord or a mobile recorded version of all the newly released films the next day. However, a better version is out for sale within a week,” boasted another shopkeeper. Of course, none of them was willing to be named.

The police also accept that Lucknow is a big market for pirated CDs and DVDs. “We keep conducting raid in this market and over 100 people engaged in this work have been arrested till now this year,” P.R. Chauhan, inspector of the Naka police station, told IANS.

Last year, the police raided an underground “processing factory” for these CDs and DVDs. Besides a huge cache of pirated DVDs and CDs, they also found six minors working there.

“Over two dozen CD and DVD writers were found there. The rescued children informed us that they were taught how to make multiple copies of the pirated CDs and DVDs and they were only given food and shelter for this work,” Lucknow’s then senior superintendent of police Akhil Kumar told media after the raid.

The “factory” was producing over 5,000 copies a day. The pirated CDs and DVDs were also sold in Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Gulf countries.

Deputy Inspector General of Police (Lucknow) Prem Prakash admits that preventing piracy is a challenging task. “We cannot act without a formal complaint. However, piracy has declined and the shopkeepers in the Naka area and other localities are always on our radar,” he said.

Multiplexes in the city have also taken stringent steps to nail down the menace.

“Besides conducting a thorough check of the viewers, we have also deputed security officials who keep a vigilant eye during the shows. Any one caught using a mobile to capture the film has to pay for it,” Tabish Shafiq, duty officer of the PVR cinemas, told IANS.

“We have 60 mobile phones in our possession which were taken away from viewers trying to record the film in the last three months.”





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