Shemaroo entertainment in association with the local distributor and SIFAM [Stitching Indian Films&Music] informed the Brussels Customs and seized 50,000 DVDs at Brussels Airport (worth 2,50,000 Euros), of which 25,000 DVDs were of a week old film Mere Baap Pehle Aap - a Shemaroo film. The film is still running successfully in all cinemas world wide and these pirated copies are causing huge losses to the industry. The other DVDs include song compilations and various other movies.
This information was obtained with the help of Indian Film Exporters Association and Shemaroo's sources. As per Brussels Airport Customs, every month a consignment of 20,000 - 30,000 DVDs land. Since there are no claimants / complaints, the authorities in spite of having the knowledge of these DVDs being pirated, do not act upon.
As Shemaroo's International Distribution is well networked through its largest library, Europe is a key territory in terms of business opportunities and they have faced these problems in the past. However, this is for the first time an organized raid and seizure of pirated DVDs, in any European country is held.
Sources reveal that a company in Hong Kong manufactures these pirated DVDs, which are later exported worldwide.
On an average for every new film, in the first week itself around 35,000 to 40,000 pirated DVDs are distributed in Europe, where the entry points are Frankfurt and Brussels primarily. As Europe in size is a very big market for Bollywood titles, pirates first attack this market rather than USA and UK among others.
Modus Operandi of Pirates
As a film is about to release, these pirates collect the films publicity material from local cinemas and keep their DVD covers ready before the film releases. For a timely world wide release of any film, the prints are dispatched one week before the actual release. One of the print, from these centers are picked and pirated DVDs are manufactured. And later distributed on the 2nd or 3rd day of the films release.
This whole operation is well networked and runs like an organized crime, thereby making the pirated industry worth millions of dollars.
A joint effort from all companies along with the support of the respective authorities, alone can stop this menace. Only then will business possibilities in these areas, finally see light through the day!