Pirates of the Footpath

Topics: Capitalism, DVD, Copyright infringement Pages: 24 (8678 words) Published: January 4, 2013
Pirates of the Footpath

By Name: Anupam Chatterjee
Class roll no. – 001000501023

Dissertation submitted towards the fulfillment of the requirements of MA 4th semester examination 2012

Department of Film Studies
Jadavpur University


I am grateful to the following people for helping me complete this project successfully.

Subhajit Chatterjee
Dr. Moinak Biswas
Manas Ghosh
Anindya Sengupta
Sanjoy Mukhopadhyay
Madhuja Mukherjee
Subham Roychoudhury
Mrinal Kanti Mondol
Pranab Kumar Patro
Praskanva Sinharay
Aritra Chakraborty
Sreyashi Choudhury



Chapter 1: pg 7

Chapter 2: pg 15

Chapter 3: pg 31

Bibliography: pg 36


It is now a well attested fact that the piracy industry is nearly as large and organized as any other formal corporate industrial field and its magnitude is not a matter of shock and surprise anymore. There is substantial statistical backup conforming to the above fact. (Kiesla, 2011) The position of the uninstitutionalised sector of movie piracy goes unnoticed amidst the clash of the titans. The pirate electronic culture in India has its own set of idiosyncrasies. Compared to the broader international piracy sector, it is largely unorganized and cannot really be termed as an ‘industry’ in the contemporary corporate sense of the term. “It is driven by innovation, ad-hoc discovery, and electronic survival strategies.” (Sundaram, 2001) Major International production houses (primarily from Hollywood) like Dreamworks [Madagaskar, Kung-fu Panda & How to Train your Dragon.], 20th Century Fox [Avatar], Legendary Pictures [Inception, 300, Watchmen etc.] and Warner Brothers [The Batman franchise, The Hobbit films which they are co-producing with New Line Cinemas] claim that with the introduction of the 3D technology in Cinema, it is possible to combat the spectre of movie piracy with reinvigorated fervor. The piracy market, on the other hand, continuing with their traditional policy of adaptation and improvisation, is all set to adjust with the evolving trend by technologically updating and innovating unique means, for which they have no dearth of either resources, or demand for their product. (Walters, 2012) The class of population that the different kinds of piracy cater to, are completely different. The sector of piracy which I am focusing on is not even considered as a major threat by Hollywood studios. µtorrent, YouTube.com, and other P2P sharing platforms, which is targeted as the primary media of piracy, has vaguely got anything to do with this kind of indigenous piracy nexus. The cable TV network of the yesteryears, i.e, before the era of Dish TVs and Tata skys or other D2H operators, lacked the sanctity of being ‘legal’. Nevertheless, it was deemed valid by its superfluous use, popularity, and gradually, its indispensability. How does one approach this ‘left-out’ or ‘unreached’ part of the piracy society? This above mentioned class, convicted with the crime of ‘piracy’, does not share the characteristics, or even does not participate in the privileges of the international piracy network. They form a completely independent category altogether. Does one need to fall back to dependency theories for the assessment of this specific socio-economic category? Or is the ambit of post-colonial and subaltern studies, which insinuate the existence of these ‘third world sub-classes’ provide pertinent and relevant discourse to approach this problem? I intend to examine significant and appropriate literature pertaining to the area, and approach accordingly.

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