Just days before the highly anticipated Salman Khan-starrer " Bodyguard" hit 70mm screens, Reliance Entertainment, one of the producers of the movie and its distributor, hit out in a big way against the piracy industry.
The company obtained a John Doe order from the Delhi High Court restricting websites, cable operators and Internet Service Providers (ISPs), and other organisations and individuals, from infringing upon the movie's copyright by illegally streaming or copying it. This essentially means that in no way can anyone illegally copy the movie. And as far as physical piracy (pirated DVDs) is concerned, the movie's team is conducting across all known piracy hubs in the country, including Delhi's notorious Palika Bazaar.
The movie's producer Atul Agnihotri told DT, "We have found a few thousand jackets of the movie that have already been printed and realised that this can kill the prospect of a movie. Therefore, the step to nip piracy in the bud was imperative." Sanjay Tandon, VP, anti piracy at Reliance Entertainment, agreed with Agnihotri and told us, "We've taken a pre-emptive measure by getting this order. While we know of certain entities that do this, we do not know of many others who indulge in such acts. This order ensures that whenever we catch someone, we don't have to get into the rigmarole of filing a civil case. We can simply seek punishment, which ranges between one week to three years of imprisonment, along with fine ranging between `50,000 and `2,00,000."
Earlier too, Reliance had sought the same order during the release of the Ajay Devgn starrer "Singham", with a view to minimise losses through piracy. Says Tandon, "In the case of "Singham", it was pirated 40% less than it would have been, had we not taken the order. For "Bodyguard", we are hoping to cut down piracy by 50-60%. Piracy cannot be eradicated, but it certainly can be curtailed. For the same reason, we are conducting extensive raids across the country at known piracy hubs."
The step taken by the producers of "Bodyguard" comes in the wake of the severe piracy that has impacted Bollywood in recent times. Unofficial figures estimate the worth of the industry at `4,000 crore. To deal with it, last year, director Sajid Khan had announced that his movie "Housefull" was being released with an in-built anti-piracy software. Anti-piracy raids were also conducted at the time of the release of "I Hate Luv Storys", since the movie lost `20 lakh to piracy in its opening weekend.