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Tollywood Wants to Fight Piracy With an App That Doesn’t Work

IMCThe film industry in Andhra Pradesh has launched a mobile app to tackle piracy, a problem which causes massive losses to filmmakers. But the funny part is, that it doesn’t work.

The anti-piracy mobile phone app known as Indian Movie Cop, launched by the Andhra Pradesh Film Chamber of Commerce recently crashes all the time. Apparently, it was designed to facilitate the “speedy sharing of information regarding piracy in the movie industry.”

The app is intended to inform and educate users about piracy and help them identify and report piracy in eight languages including English, Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, Bengali and Gujarati.

It also has a section for current movie showtimes, news, releases and trailers. Users can report an incident of piracy by sharing information regarding the location details of the incident like Name of the shop, location and details of the movie being pirated.

The mobile app has a very basic design and could do with some more work, to access the app features users can register their information such as email and mobile number along with their name, there is also an option to register later.

Only registered users can share information regarding incidents of piracy using the

application. Unregistered users can only access the other movie sections like showtime, news, trailers etc, according to AP police.

Once inside, the app gives you options to choose a language. We could not proceed beyond this step as the app kept crashing. Similar problems have been reported on the play store app review page. We tried restarting the app to register, but the registration screen never showed up again. it took us to the language selection page and then crashed again upon selecting a language.

According to the APFCC portal  the film industry and the Government have been losing revenue amounting up to Rs 1200 Crores on account of piracy. And with Tollywood producing up to 120 films a year, have to bear a huge part of these losses.

To tackle this issue the APFCC had launched its own anti-video piracy cell back in April 2005 with a strong team of  60 retired police officers to register complaints. The members of the cell has a control room with a hotline that was operational from 9 AM- 9 PM, seven days of the week. The cell was authorized to take immediate action by conducting search and seize operations for counterfeit discs and videos.

The chamber has also launched www.stoppiracy.com, an anti-piracy portal with to help monitor and take down sites supporting piracy and other related information. The site doesn’t work either!

At the launch of the app in Hyderabad, AP Police director general V Dinesh Reddy said the Rs 14,400 crore Indian film industry was losing about 14 per cent in revenues on account of piracy.

The number of movies being made in Tollywood came down to just 70 feature films from an average of 120 films in the past, due to increase in piracy and also resulted in the closure of 800 single screen theaters in the last 5-6 years.

But the question that looms large here is, whether an app (one that doesn’t work) or an anti-piracy cell is good enough to prevent piracy?

In the past we had seen incidents where orders to block websites or portals were carried on due to petitions filed by individuals or production houses. What this country lacks is a centralized piracy cell and stricter punishments.

Another solution that can help the problem of piracy to some extent is digitization of movie distribution. This solutions will help the producers and distributors to reach relevant audience and increase the number of prints without any additional cost on the same day of release everywhere. Since this solution helps movies get released on same day in all places, it reduces the piracy & losses due to unauthorized distribution.

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