On Wednesday, the Madras High Court directed 37 internet service providers to block more than 12,000 websites that stream pirated Tamil movies, including some 2,000 suspected sites of TamilRockers, a website that leaks most major Tamil releases. The order, on a petition by Lyca Productions Private Limited, the producer of the Rajinikanth starrer ‘2.0’ that released on Thursday, however, did not serve the purpose as TamilRockers went on to release the leaked print of ‘2.0’ hours after its official release in theatres.
The movie, directed by Shankar with a budget of about Rs 450 crore, may have suffered a significant loss because of the pirated version leaked online. It was this fear that prompted Lyca Productions to move the court with a list of 12,564 illegal websites for their links to TamilRockers.
Following this, Justice M Sundar issued a blanket order to block over 12,000 sites submitted in the petitioner’s list as the petitioner feared that the video piracy online may destroy business from their new movie, which under Copyrights Act is sold through distribution rights of various segments of the product (movie) such as theatrical rights, music rights, other rights including TV, internet, digital and home video streaming.
However, the new URL of TamilRockers appeared on Thursday with a link to ‘2.0’ that went viral.
A senior cyber crime official said his earlier encounters with TamilRockers and their proxy servers have been mostly futile for many reasons. “TamilRockers is not run by a single individual or entity, it is a scattered group of people, who may be anonymous to each other, possibly working abroad. On multiple occasions, during blockbuster movie leaks, we have found that their sites were often hosted by proxy servers based in Russia or Ukraine or countries that give immunity from legal action,” the official said.
“It is also supported and run by a section of online activists who believe in an ideology against knowledge industry, that drives these anonymous groups in spite of a massive crackdown of many URLs. Many professionals and experts behind these sites are against the idea of copyright, they fight for free knowledge online,” the official said.
After the official release, Lyca tweeted: “Hardwork of 4 yrs, crores of money, efforts of 1000s of technicians – all to give you a visual spectacle you can watch, love and enjoy in THEATRES! Do not spoil the experience. SAY NO TO PIRACY! Send all pirated links to firstname.lastname@example.org & help Tamil cinema shine!#2Point0.”