The tables have turned for Indian pic producers.
After decades of freely copycatting Western hits and failing to protect Hollywood product from rampant piracy, India’s film biz is fuming that some its top films were available last week for free download on the new Google Video site.
Bollywood pics ranging from Oscar contender “Paheli” to recent pics “Swades,” “Bunty aur Babli,” “Neal ‘N’ Nikki” and “Ek khilari ek hasina” were all just a couple clicks away from easy access.
“It is totally illegal,” fumed Ken Naz, CEO of Eros Entertainment, which distributes the lion’s share of Bollywood product in the West, including the above titles.
But Naz and his colleagues may not find many sympathetic ears. The Indian industry is notorious for not respecting the IP protections of others.
Indeed, last week saw the preem of “Zinda,” an almost shot-for-shot remake of “Oldboy,” the Korean movie that won the grand jury prize in Cannes in 2004. Director Sanjay Gupta took bows and press accolades as if he had conceived the film by himself.
Google, eager to stake a place for itself as a legal purveyor of vid content, said it would remove the pics, per policy forbidding the posting of copyrighted content without consent.
A spokesman said the company screens out pornography and obvious copyright violations, but relies on owners to notify the Netco when a video pops up illegally.