The Tamil film industry is losing millions of dollars in revenue each year because of piracy, yet it is unable to do anything to combat it. Everyone has heard of Bollywood but southern India’s Tamil film industry is also prolific. More than 130 films are being released every year. Ticket sales coupled with the sale of overseas rights for Tamil films bring in most of the revenue. Estimates vary as to how much money is generated, but it is thought to be about $250m a year.
But this income is being severely dented because of the rampant sale of pirated DVDs and VCDs. They usually hit the black market within a few days of the release of a new film. Sometimes pirated DVDs are put out on the day of the release itself. The majority of pirated DVDs originate from India or Malaysia. People make unauthorised copies from original prints that are given to the cinema halls, convert them into DVDs and sell them. Some even use cameras to record the film while it is being played in the cinema hall. Overseas revenues constitute 15? 0% of the total revenue of the Tamil film industry. The Tamil film industry has yet to formulate a strategy to combat such piracy abroad, but at home in Tamil Nadu, it uses its clout over the political class to fight the problem. The Tamil Nadu government has set up special units to tackle video and DVD pirates, and has warned offenders they face severe punishments. But these measures are yet to yield tangible results. Video piracy market in India is estimated at an alarming Rs 1,000? crore and rising at the rate of 20 per cent every year according to some sources.
As per a Northbridge Capital Asia report in early 2009, the Indian film industry, which is currently pegged at Rs 14, 400 crore, produces around 1,000 films every year but loses 14% of its revenue to video piracy. Jaggubai, the 15 crore mega project of Sarathkumar directed by KS Ravikumar was made available on the net even before its release and that shocked the entire Tamil film industry. While everyone understand their anger and agony, it’s also time to introspect who is at fault. Is it the common man as accused by the industry or the industry which is not considerate of the common man?
Piracy has not spared even Hollywood. Last year an almost finished copy of X? Men Origins: Wolverine starring Hugh Jackman was leaked online a month before its theatrical release. Another American science fiction film, the fourth instalment in the Terminator series, Terminator Salvation starring Christian Bale had to change its ending completely after internet leak. 3 | P a g e Main Research Problem The unscrupulous act of piracy definitely demands condemnation of the highest.
But it is also time to do some polite introspection on the side of the film industry. Who is the culprit according to the film industry? What medium of piracy they are worried about? Does the hue and cry of the industry actually touch the hearts of the very ordinary people it accuses of abetting the crime and incurring huge losses to the film industry? My objective hence is to find out the causes and reasons for spread of piracy from the public’s eye. It is a common notion with the film industry that the causes of spread are attributed to the youth of today.
In order to analyze this particular accusation I have surveyed the youth of Chennai in order to assess the real factors driving the piracy problem. My main research question was to find out whether it is true that the youth of today are the major reasons behind the spread of movie piracy. Hence in order to find whether it is VCD piracy or online piracy, the bigger evil, my questionnaire has been designed in such a way. Also in order to arrest the spread of piracy, the Government has been taking steps but not enough. The drive needs to come from within the viewers who are watching such movies.
They need to awaken from this bad dream and stop watching pirated movies. This way we could reduce the losses that movie producers are suffering from piracy. 4 | P a g e Scope of Research For the purpose of restricting my survey to the main research problem I have focused the survey on people in the age group of 19? 29 years where it is believed that movie piracy is rampant. Even though movie piracy is prevalent in Bollywood as well as Hollywood, I have restricted my survey to the confines of Kollywood, which has a major appeal in Chennai and its suburbs.
The same techniques used for pirating tamil movies are used for English and Hindi movies too. So once we find out the major causes driving the piracy issue, we can answer the question facing the larger picture. Since Chennai is the hub for the tamil movie industry, Kollywood, I have focused my survey only on the youth of Chennai. Also the majority of revenues earned for a movie come from the metropolitan city of Chennai. As per literature, (Freestone ; Mitchell, 2004, Kini, Ramakrishna ; Vijayaraman, 2003, Vartiainen, 1999) piracy is prevalent amongst youth worldwide.
Here we are interested in the youth in the age group of 19? 29 years since that is the age for most working youth who are yet to get married and settle into marital life. Critical Review of Literature The research that had been done in this particular area had been mainly to distinguish between the differences in piracy related to software, movie and music. The sole purpose of the research had been in identifying which had a major impact on revenues. As discussed in that research software cannot be compared with movie and music piracy since the latter had a shorter life cycle.
The interest in a particular movie or music changes once another catchy tone or high interest movie comes about. That is why it has a shorter life span. My pre? research included going through surveys done in the area of software piracy with the main focus on the use of internet as the transfer medium. The Gallup poll on moral acceptability of downloading music for free was referred to as my research objective included music piracy as well. There has not been much research on the piracy of Tamil movies with a focus on Chennai alone.
There have been researches conducted on the piracy involved in Tamil movies abroad in the US and UK. But our focus here is to address the issue at the source. Hence we focus on the heart of the Tamil movie industry, Kodambakkam, Chennai. The main sources referred to for conducting the primary research have been given in the Bibliography section. 5 | P a g e Methodology The research methodology used here is that of an explanatory research in order to explain the phenomenon of Piracy prevalent among the youth.
Since Movie and music piracy is a social phenomenon we need to follow a phenomenological approach in finding out the factors responsible for the spread of this revenue killing phenomenon . The research instruments used are the questionnaires which are distributed to the sample population and we get responses for the reasons and medium for spread of piracy. In order to find out the majorly influencing factor for piracy I have used a scale of 0? 100 for the independent variables to clearly demarcate how much the respondent feels is the difference between two independent variables.
Once the data is collected, we input it in SPSS software and carry out statistical functions to compare the means of the different variables. The tool used to compare the values is 1? way ANOVA which compares the values of the different variables and gives the result with the corresponding significance level. Also the genre of movies that the public prefers and their consumption of pirated movies have been given pictorially in the output. Conceptualisation In order to get clear with the research survey, the following concepts were developed: Piracy – Copyright infringement of audio? isual works, often referred to as piracy, occurs when unauthorized copies are made of music, movies and similar works. Unauthorized copies of CDs/DVDs and other media are sold for very low prices around the world. Our concept of movie piracy here includes VCD piracy, online streaming of movies, free downloads and Cable TV piracy. Quality of movies – The quality of a movie that we refer to here is the goodness of the storyline, the cinematography, logical sense in the flow of the story and the reality implied in the movie sequences.
A good quality movie is one which has a good storyline, well directed, sound logic in the story and a seamless flow of the story. 6 | P a g e Variables The independent variables, dependent variables, intervening variables and extraneous variables have all been used in the study of my research problem. Independent Variables ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? The independent variables include Quality of cinema halls, Price of tickets, Use of CD/DVD, Online streaming of movies, Free downloads, Bad cinema halls, Lack of security measures, Easy accessibility to content, Sourcing from friends and Bad movie quality
Dependent Variables ? ? ? ? The dependent variables include Spread of movie piracy, Cause of piracy, and Source of music piracy and Public’s perception of spread of movie piracy Intervening Variable The location preference of the people in watching the movies is an intervening variable as it affects the relationship between the main variable spread of piracy and the independent variable, easy accessibility to free content. Extraneous Variable The perception and preference of the people towards watching pirated movies is the extraneous variable.
People’s tolerance and the readiness to watch pirated movies, if available, impacts the relation between bad quality theatres and spread of piracy. Hence the attitude of the people is an extraneous variable and which is not covered in the study. 7 | P a g e Hypotheses Any research study needs to have hypotheses that need to be proved or disproved to assess the validity of the assumptions or popular opinions. Hence the relation between the independent variables and the dependent variables is tested quantitatively with the help of the below mentioned six hypotheses:
H1: CD/DVD is the most common medium used in the spread of Tamil movie piracy H2: Ticket prices is the main reason behind the cause of movie piracy H3: People prefer to watch all new movies at home rather than at theatres H4: CD/DVD is the source of most movies that people watch at home H5: Free downloads is the main reason behind the spread of music piracy H6: Easy accessibility to free content of movies is the main reason that the Public think as the spread for piracy All the above hypotheses can be classified into the category of Null hypotheses where the given statements are the hypotheses which would be proved or disproved statistically. 8 | P a g e Sample Selection The convenience sampling (non? probability sampling) technique was used where questionnaires were distributed to the intended age group. A total of 213 persons were included in the sample. The survey questionnaires were distributed in three places, ? Sangam Theatre, Kilpauk, Chennai ? Meenakshi Sundarrajan Engineering College, Kodambakkam, Chennai ? Alsa Mall, Egmore, Chennai The respondents were majorly in the age group of 19? 29 years and had persons from both genders to encompass the gender diversity in this particular phenomenon.
Since the data related to number of Tamil movie goers in Chennai was not available we couldn’t use any statistical methods for determining the minimal sample size. However the total number obtained here was huge which ensured that we were able to ensure normal distribution of the values obtained in the survey. Thus we have surveyed 213 people in all which includes 119 men (56%) and 94 women (44%) in the survey. The age groups in the survey range from 0? 18 years, 19? 29 years, 30? 39 years, 40? 49 years, 50? 59 years and people more than 60 years old. However we tried to focus on people in the 19? 29 age groups. Out of the total number surveyed 198 are single (93%) and 15 are married (7%).
Also the majority of people watch movies once a month or once in 3 months. Only a smaller proportion of people watch it once in two weeks. Profile of the respondents Gender Cumulative Frequency Valid Female Male Total 94 119 213 Percent 44. 1 55. 9 100. 0 Valid Percent 44. 1 55. 9 100. 0 Percent 44. 1 100. 0 9 | P a g e Age group Cumulative Frequency Valid 0-18 years 19-29 years 30-39 years 50-59 years Total 48 156 7 2 213 Percent 22. 5 73. 2 3. 3 . 9 100. 0 Valid Percent 22. 5 73. 2 3. 3 . 9 100. 0 Percent 22. 5 95. 8 99. 1 100. 0 Marital status Cumulative Frequency Valid single married Total 198 15 213 Percent 93. 0 7. 0 100. 0 Valid Percent 93. 0 7. 0 100. 0 Percent 93. 0 100. 0
Frequency of movies Cumulative Frequency Valid once a week once in 2 weeks once a month once in 3 months very rarely Total 35 15 59 52 52 213 Percent 16. 4 7. 0 27. 7 24. 4 24. 4 100. 0 Valid Percent 16. 4 7. 0 27. 7 24. 4 24. 4 100. 0 Percent 16. 4 23. 5 51. 2 75. 6 100. 0 10 | P a g e Limitations of Survey The survey covers only the respondents in Chennai since the time frame was not enough to cover other places which acted as movie hubs in the state. Also a significant number of movies are being screened abroad and they have their own distribution issues abroad. The scope of the current research does not cover that and hence we do not delve into that issue.
Also ideally if we had known an approximate number of Tamil movie goers in Chennai, we could determine the minimal sample size statistically. Hence we had limited ourselves to the use of convenience sampling to get the samples from people across Chennai. The surveys could have been conducted in other residential places of varying economic strata to identify which strata of the economic class does this spread of piracy is rampant. One other limitation of this survey is that it did not ask whether the individuals had an internet connection at home which could have helped in correlating the availability of net connection and downloading free content from the web.