Last weekend, SS Branch and Bandra Police along with AA Khan & Associates conducted a raid near Bandra station and seized over 2500 DVDs & CDs. The raid uncovered 69 DVDs of 3 Idiots, 500 DVDs of Avatar and 366 DVDs of Paa. The raids were a joint operation by police department and AA Khan & Associates. PI Tangad Palli from SS Branch, PI A V Chaudhri from Bandra Police station and 3 member team from AA Khan & Associates, headed by Mr. Dhanavade (Former Sr. Inspector) Field officer Habib Rehman Khan and Joseph were together in this operation.
In an exclusive conversation with Bollywood Hungama, Mr. AA Khan spills the beans on how this raid was made possible and an action against piracy which is the need of the hour.
Congratulations for the great job done in getting hold of pirated DVDs. How exactly did you get a hint around this entire racket?
Honestly this is a collective effort and the industry needs to come out and fight as a unit. We are doing our bit and need all the support we can get to eradicate this menace. We are hopeful that in the New Year we can sit across the table and think of ways to fight against the racket.
To answer your second question we have a strong network of informers across the country. Whenever there are any movements regarding such activities we get tip-off by them and accordingly we execute our plans. At the same time I would like to add that the local police have been quite helpful and it would not have been possible without their continuous support.
When you conduct a raid like this, what are the kinds of challenges that you face from the offenders as well as the bureaucratic that we unfortunately have?
We execute everything keeping the system in mind. We have the support of the local police so there is no question of going against the system. Like I said without their support it would not have been possible to achieve what we have in the last couple of months.
There were about 2500 DVDs seized. Don’t you think that’s a tip of the iceberg considering the fact that piracy is quite prominent all over?
Piracy is prominent not only in India but all over the world. The findings of a study conducted by the US agency RAND brings out that the entire money generated through circulating pirated DVDs and CDs funds terrorism.
In the month of December alone we have seized more than 25,000 pirated CDs and DVDs. So you can imagine the amount of CDs circulating throughout the year. This unfortunately amounts to a huge loss not only to the local film industry but also globally. Piracy also has a direct impact on employment. The employment loss due to piracy comprises of direct loss due to decrease in volumes of sales and loss of employment due to impact on production itself i.e. fewer records, movies, games etc. being produced. The total estimated loss of employment to the M&E industry due to piracy in 2007 – 08 is estimated to be 819,712.
A raid like this is appreciable but honestly, such raids have been conducted in the past as well where a handful of DVDs are seized on one fine day. Still, in hundreds of nooks and corner in the country, pirated DVDs are being sold in open. How do you plan to curb that?
Piracy always existed in some form or the other. But we are getting the facts and figures only now as there are industry body who are working together to bring this menace in the forefront. To curb piracy in the long run we will have to constantly work towards means and ways to fight it.
The film industry needs to unite on a common platform to resolve this issue. Along with action from government agencies, the industry also needs to educate the common man about the impact of piracy on the world and how it is being used to fund terrorism. A proactive approach is needed to tackle piracy. The Government needs to realise that without their say we cannot eradicate piracy permanently. The US Govt. is taking keen interest and has recently allocated funds to fight piracy. Our local industry is also meeting up with the concerned ministry to get a similar support. So we can only hope for the best.