India major online film piracy hub
Last updated: 15 December, 2009
Utpal Borpujari, New Delhi,dhns: 23:39 IST
India has emerged as one of the biggest hubs of online film piracy, with Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai accounting for the major share of illegal downloads.
According to studies commissioned by the Motion Picture Distributors’ Association (MPDA), the local office of the Hollywood Motion Picture Association (MPA), India accounts for maximum film piracy in any English-speaking country if one goes by the number of broadband subscribers.
Overall, India is the fourth largest downloader of films after the US, Great Britain and Canada, according to the MPDA’s Internet piracy studies.
It is no surprise that Hindi films are the most widely downloaded Indian content with the maximum downloads happening in Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai.
Vishal Bhardwaj’s ‘Kaminey’ is estimated to have been downloaded over 350,000 times on BitTorrent, with around two-thirds of the downloaders located in India, the studies have found out.
Tamil films are mostly downloaded in Chennai and Bangalore, and nearly 80 per cent of the downloads of four Tamil films on BitTorrent happen in India, while Telugu films are mostly downloaded in Hyderabad and Bangalore, with 88 per cent of the downloads of four Telugu films on BitTorrent traced to India.
The first study for the MPDA was carried out by Internet firm DtecNet, based on the tracking of downloading IP-addresses on P2P networks. It showed that from April to September this year, India was among the top 10 countries in the world with the largest number of illegal P2P activities.
Similar results were found by Internet company Envisional.
In its Internet piracy landscape report, Envisional found that online piracy of film and television content in India is mainly through the file-sharing network BitTorrent and cyberlockers, or web-based file hosts such as RapidShare or HotFile.
Video-streaming sites are also popular, though their usage is lower than BitTorrent and cyberlockers.
Major international BitTorrent portals were heavily used by Indian downloaders.