Shivaji Rao Gaekwad, better known as Rajinikanth, is a superstar of Indian cinema, having been active in the industry for decades.
During his time on the silver screen, piracy has been running rampant across India but even he will have been taken by surprise following the events of the past few days.
Rajinikanth’s latest movie, action thriller Darbar, was released theatrically on January 9, 2020, quickly recovering around 75% of its costs during its first weekend alone.
However, on January 12, just three days after its official release, local cable channel Saranya TV took the decision to broadcast a pirated copy of the movie, as illustrated in the image below obtained by Galatta.com.
In common with many local movies, infamous torrent site TamilRockers reportedly leaked Darbar online shortly after its release but subsequent ‘pirate’ broadcasting on cable TV is unusual, particularly during a theatrical window. This has caused outrage at Lyca Productions, the production company behind the movie, which responded by filing a complaint with local police.
“The movie has been receiving good response from the public and it is running successfully in all centers all over the world, in the meantime we are astounded and distressed to know, that the movie was telecasted illegally in a local TV Channel called Saranya TV at Madurai on 12.01.2020 evening,” a statement from Lyca reads.
“Having come to know this, we have officially filed a complaint against the said local TV Channel at The Commissioner Office, Law & Order, Madurai.”
According to the local distributor for the movie, police were swift to act against the operators of Saranya TV. After initial reports that the channel had been closed and its operators had gone on the run, it now appears arrests have been made.
“It is true that the offenders have been arrested, but FIR [First information report] is yet to be registered as the investigation is still in progress,” a statement obtained by Behindwoods reads.
“It appears that they have used 2-3 relay points for broadcasting the film. While a computer system [has] already been seized, the police are now in the process of probing and confiscating other types of equipment, including CPUs, relay hubs and other systems that they were using to telecast the movie.”
In addition to the action against the cable TV company, a Galatta source reports that after the movie was widely shared on Whatsapp, a complaint was filed by Lyca in that direction too.
No official announcement on that front has been made by Lyca but an anti-piracy company is working on its behalf to prevent piracy on the messenger application.
If anyone sends you a pirated copy of Darbar on WhatsApp, please share its screenshot and the sender's phone number to [email protected] We'll take care of it.
Celebrate #DARBAR, stand against piracy.@LycaProductions #BLOCKX #SayNoToPiracy
— BLOCK X (@blockxpiracy) January 12, 2020