It’s a battle that has been raging on for months. But with the powerful Tamil film industry not being able to shut down piracy sites like Tamilrockers and Tamilgun, the industry is now gunning for those who run these sites.
The Tamil Nadu Producers Council and production houses Studio Green (owned by Gnanavel Raja) and Vishal Film factory (owned by actor Vishal) have released pictures of two men who they claim are part of three piracy sites.
In an ad released on social media, pictures of two young men, Aravinth Logeshwaran, and Dixon Raj Arumuga Swamy, have been published.
According to the ad, Aravinth Logeshwaran, last seen in Switzerland is the moderator of Tamilrockers, one of the biggest piracy sites that routinely releases south Indian movies online.
Dixon Raj Arumuga Swamy, based out of UK, is the moderator of Tamilgun and Tamildbox, according to the advertisement.
Announcing a reward for anyone who traces down these people, the advertisement has come just days after the Chennai police arrested a man named Gauri Shankar, who is reported to be the administrator of piracy website Tamil Gun.
Piracy vs. Tamil movie industry
Though many in the Tamil film industry have spoken against piracy and been pro-active at curbing it, sites like Tamilrockers have only gained followers in the last few months.
The rivalry has reached such a stage that both groups have shot off warnings to each other publicly.
Soon after he got elected as head of Tamil Nadu Producers Council in April, Vishal issued a warning to his nemesis, Tamilrockers.com. The actor and producer had spoken against the torrent site many times in the past.
"A young team has won and we are giving a challenge to pirates like Tamilrockers as we will tackle the menace head on," The Hindu quoted the actor as saying.
Tamil Rockers has been a favorite online destination for lakhs to stream pirated South Indian movies. The admins of this site have remained anonymous. The torrent site has run into controversies many times by streaming movies live and even big browsers like Baahubali, Premam and others.
The website became popular among the online crowd and joined police's wanted list after it sold the censor copy of Malayalam blockbuster Premam online.
At a nominal membership, most of these sites provide pirated versions, live streaming and good quality prints of movies that have just hit the theaters.
Not just Vishal, producers like Gnanavel Raja too have openly challenged these sites. In February, Gnanavel Raja said, "Singam 3 is releasing on February 9. A piracy website called Tamil Rockers run by a son of **** , pardon my language, has announced that he will live stream the movie at 11 am on the release date. We are still unsure if we can clear all the financial hurdles and ensure the film releases as per the schedule, but that 'dog' is very confident that he will live stream the film at the said time. And the industry is quiet and doing nothing about it, that includes me as well."
Tamil Rockers responded to Gnanvel Raja and released pirated version of his movie Singam 3 online.
The Producer’s Council believes that unmasking these groups working on the basis of anonymity is a big win in the battle.