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'Malaysia, Hong Kong key to Tamil film piracy'

IndiaGlitz [Friday, October 08, 2004]

Malaysia and Hong Kong have been identified as the two main sources of pirated film CDs playing havoc with the Tamil cinema industry, police said Thursday.

Police, who seized 68,000 pirated CDs at the international airport here, said their sources were these East Asian centers.

This year alone, fake CDs worth Rs.20.6 million ($500,000) being smuggled in through the airport were confiscated.

"We are easily able to identify the new Tamil releases. The English films are more difficult to identify," an official said.

An original CD of a Tamil film costs Rs.1,000 to Rs.3,000 and a fake just Rs.75.

The film prints are smuggled out to Malaysia or Hong Kong where CDs are pirated. The CDs from there reach all countries with Tamil population and India also.

"We can seize what comes into Tamil Nadu. But repeated seizures here from flights coming from Hong Kong and Malaysia show that these are the two hubs of Tamil-video piracy," the official said.

For the past one month, the Tamil film industry has been mounting a large-scale protest against pirated CDs.

Tamil films like "Veerumandi" were found being sold on footpaths within three days of their official release.

Following representation from the industry, the Tamil Nadu government announced stringent measures against video piracy and promised year-long jail terms for anyone caught selling pirated CDs.

All is not well in Kollywood

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