As the technology of filmmaking is evolving, piracy is getting even more accessible. Nowadays watching the latest Telugu movies online is as simple as recharging your mobile. It may be difficult to find old Telugu movies but it is easy to watch the latest Telugu movies online. Telugu cinema has been constantly fighting against piracy but the problem is growing day by day. Click here for the Telugu movies download websites list.
History of Piracy in Tollywood
Early Days of Indian Cinema
As far as Indian cinema is concerned, Piracy is as old as cinema itself. The film reels of Hollywood films used to get copied for unauthorized redistribution in other territories. The copies and reprints of such films get sold in the market for unauthorized screenings. While there have always been laws to protect movies from piracy, it is not an easy task. Cinema is the most popular entertainment in India until the 90s and people used to watch movies in theaters only as they don’t have other options. Although VHS is available, it is not accessible to everyone. The piracy of music started as soon as cassettes were introduced in the 1970s. The copying of audio cassettes was handy and the local merchants used to record Telugu songs into empty cassettes and sell them for a much lower price.
Growth of Piracy
The VHS was popular in the 1980s and there used to be shops in every town and city. But most people used to prefer watching movies in theatres. There used to be unauthorized screenings using VHS tapes and projectors during carnivals or celebrations. The organizers used to place a white cloth as the screen on blocked roads or open fields and screen the movie using projectors. These screenings draw considerable gatherings mostly kids. There were other options for entertainment like stage dramas, recording dances, bioscopes, etc which continued until the 1990s. The 90s have changed everything and people found an alternative in the form of cable TV. It is said that there was a loss of 65% audience to Indian cinema after the 1990s. The CDs became very much accessible when compared to VHS. Most of these CDs originate from camcording in cinema halls which applies to the present day. The private cable TV managers used to telecast recent Telugu movies on weekends for subscriptions. The news channels had not many avenues for advertising, so they used to telecast the latest releases to gain viewers. During 2000-2005, they used to charge Rs 100 for CD players and Rs 10 for each movie.
Fight Against Piracy
The DVDs became cheaper with several options. The tens of CD/DVD shops in every town and city started renting piracy movies. At that time, piracy is local and police could take action on complaints. This is also the time when the Telugu film industry started realizing the loss due to piracy. During 2004, Mahesh Babu along with his fans barged into Two CD shops in Warangal and beat up the owners who are distributing the piracy copies of his movie Arjun. The shop owners filed a case of illegal trespassing and kidnapping against Mahesh Babu and the director Gunasekhar. This made headlines during that time but couldn’t stop piracy. Following this incident, police started raiding CD shops frequently for piracy movies. The computers with good processing power (generally customized) capable of writing multiple DVDs at once are enough for recording piracy copies. In 2013, Pawan Kalyan starrer Attarintiki Daredi piracy several days before its release became a sensation. The police later arrested the person responsible for the piracy. The final copy has been leaked from the editing room. Piracy through DVDs continues to this day but is not as popular as it used to be earlier.
The broadband internet made piracy accessible at the click of a button. There is no hassle of copying and recording DVDs and hiding them. The piracy websites need not have a physical location and can be accessed from anywhere in the world which took the problem out of the hands of local police. Internet usage has grown manifold in the last decade. Nowadays people started watching pirated versions of their favorite films on their mobile phones. There are several dedicated apps to watch pirated movies. The piracy of Telugu songs is reduced nowadays with all the latest Telugu movies songs readily available on Youtube and several other sites. Nowadays all Telugu new movies appear on torrent sites on the day of their release.
Demand for Piracy
Piracy wouldn’t have spread to this extent without considerable demand. The majority of the audience is watching the latest Telugu movies online. Sometimes more people watch a piracy version compared to a theater audience. There are several reasons for the audience to opt for a pirated version of their favorite movies.
The ticket price is relatively very low considering the international standards but is still high for the Indian audience. Many of our theaters don’t provide the movie viewing experience of international standards. Some single-screen theaters are still running with poor-quality sound systems. The multiplex owners charge heavily for the food items which makes movies too costly for entire families unlike earlier. The torrents made movies affordable for people who watch most of the movies.
The movies are not accessible to everyone in India. The Telugu movies have a regional market and are not available throughout India. So, the audience residing in some cities had to wait for the release on online streaming sites. Apart from that, we can’t watch many Hollywood movies, foreign movies, and TV shows. For example, the Indian version of James Bond movies and Game of Thrones series get heavily censored that they are not as enjoyable as watching the original version. The filmmakers don’t release some movies in India at all.
Quality of Movies
This is one of the serious concerns as we have already lost the quality in movies and it is very much evident. Nowadays directing a movie is nothing but storytelling. 9 out of 10 movies are passable and we don’t carry any scenes or emotions home. The new generation of filmmakers is making tons of popcorn movies with out-of-the-mill scripts. The quality of Telugu movies fell so low that the audience started demanding movies that are at least not boring.
Availability of Movies
The piracy started as a result of Producers not selling satellite rights for years. Nowadays the Television channels telecast most Telugu movies within 3-6 months after their release. But earlier they used to telecast after 3-4 years of the release. This led to demand for a second source and pirated CDs and DVDs filled the void. The demand for 50 days, 100 days, and 175 days records from the fans of star heroes pressurized producers to not sell satellite rights in advance. At present, many Telugu movies have Hindi dubbed versions available on Youtube but the Telugu versions don’t. The producers still do not understand the problem. The alternatives like Netflix could solve the problem to some extent in the future.
Circulation of Piracy Sites
The piracy sites spread through search engines due to their demand and through social networking sites. For example, Google has a high CPC for keywords such as Tollywood movies, Telugu movies online 2017, Telugu movies online 2018, latest Telugu movies online, watch Telugu movies online, 2018 Telugu movies online, etc. This indicates that more people are searching for pirated content instead of Telugu film News, Telugu cinema updates, etc.
Most of the popular Facebook groups are digital media partners to the latest Telugu movies. While producers depend on such groups for promotions, the users also share pirated content through them. Several popular torrent sites spread among the audience through these groups. The producers contribute to piracy in one way or another.
The piracy of Telugu movies has grown beyond control and it will keep expanding. At present, you can report the links to recent Telugu movies online. The Government orders ISPs to shut down the websites. As the Government is trying to provide broadband to villages, access to pirated content may reach more people. The filmmakers should focus on improving quality and giving more options for the audience to watch movies, which may reduce piracy to some extent.