TamilRockers and Internet Piracy- Some revealing insights

TamiRockers – the name sends shivers down the spine among Film-makers and Producers. It evokes delight among film buffs cutting across different classes in TamilNadu. To study TamilRockers is to get a peep into the workings of Video and Internet Piracy business in the cinema-crazy land of South India. Let us have a look.

TamilRockers – History and Beginnings
  • TamilRockers is one of the top five websites in India that receive the highest numbers of hits and downloads. Nungambakkam, Chennai serves as the headquarters of TamilRockers. However, the network of contributors is quite widespread around the world.
  • An undergraduate started TamilRockers under a different name in 2007. A cinema middleman central to the producer-distributor relationship currently runs this business.
  • TamilRockers obtains its film prints from three sources – Preview theatres, Screens abroad and volunteers among film audiences.
  • Preview theatre is the place where a film is being sold to distributors and the subsequent business is sealed. TamilRockers manages to get people from the staff to help them with the prints.
  • The recent trend of worldwide releases allows producers to release movies in foreign countries where the screen count is too high. A tool called WorldWide Film Distribution Technology enables secret servers to store a copy of the film’s print and stream it online during the release. TamilRockers either establishes links with the theatre staffs for a considerable sum of money or manages to hack the secret servers to get hold of the prints.
  • The final source is from the audiences themselves. Some of whom capture the film in their tablets or mobile phones and share it with TamilRockers for a very decent sum of money.
How does TamilRockers make money?

We will have to go back to the sources of TamiRockers to find how they make money.

Preview Theatres
  • The prints obtained from the preview theatres are secretly shared with film’s producers. The producers do not want the film to be released online and incur heavy losses. So they pay up a very minor sum considering their huge investment to TamilRockers and delay the online release.
  • In some cases, rival producers approach TamilRockers, pay them a heavy sum and release the film of their enemies online.
Foreign Screens
  • The prints obtained from hacked servers are sent in for bids. Other International pirate sites like 1337x, PirateBay, YIFY vie for the big-budget movies and pay TamilRockers handsome sums.
  • Big – budget movies like Enthiran, Bahubali and Theri have enjoyed enormous downloads and the bidding prices skyrocket under such scenarios.
  • Next to biggies, Foreign tele-serials like Game of Thrones, Friends enjoy huge responses from audiences.
  • The number of hits and downloads increases the Ad value of the site. The stakeholders share their profits according to pre-fixed percentages.
Disturbing Conclusions

The phenomenon of Internet Piracy in India is here to stay for a while. There is no use in tracking the site admins and penalising them because the root causes are not easy to unravel.

The escalating cost of movie tickets is one of the biggest causes. People are not willing to spend more than 5 percent of their incomes on movies per month. They will find easier and cheap access to movies and sites like TamilRockers will serve them.

The producers who make films on black money do sometimes depend on Internet Pirates to promote their films. The declining quality of the movies they make force them to find newer ways of selling their products. The skyrocketing salaries of Stars and the producers’s reluctance to regulate them only add to the piracy woes.

Focus on better content, better compliance with local financial laws and cheaper access to entertainment might help giving pirates a run for their money.