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Rajshri Media To Provide 100 Full Length Films On YouTube, Where Piracy Still Flourishes

YouTube Piracy

Rajshri Media, the Internet and Mobile arm of Bollywood production house Rajshri Films, is planning to put up Bollywood films on YouTube for ad-supported free streaming; “Not your short 10 minute clips, but full length feature films,” Rajjat Barjatya, MD of Rajshri Media told MediaNama.

Rajshri will upload 100 full length films on YouTube, one film per day starting next week. They’re yet to decide the exact date, or which films, but suffice to say that they’ll begin with films from the Rajshri Films portfolio. They also intent to put up content from their partners on YouTube – some Hindi and Tamil content as well. YouTube will create a space for promoting full length movies, including those from Rajshri.   

How Does Rajshri Benefit From YouTube?
For one – the bandwidth costs. At 200+ terabytes of bandwidth utilized every month, it remains Rajshris single largest cost. YouTube will take on the cost of streaming. Apart from this, Rajshri gets advertising dollars from YouTube. Barjatya told MediaNama that “Our revenues from YouTube have been doubling month on month, since we began monetizing our content there in April 2008. 

Content Trends

Some trends for movies being watched on Rajshri.com:
— 72% of film viewers watch films for over 30 minutes in one go
— 32% owatch films for over 60 minutes in one go
— 17% watch films full movie in one go.

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If that’s the case, perhaps Rajshri is better off splitting the films into smaller, 20-30 minute clips. Barjatya disagrees, saying that if 17% of the viewers watch a full movie, that’s a fairly substantial percentage. 
 
Content Owners Forced To Partner With YouTube?
YouTube has had its fair share of full length Bollywood films in the past – pirated low-res versions, sometimes camera prints, uploaded in parts of 15-20 10 minute clips. It appears that despite having the technology (they filed for a patent in India recently), not much has been done to prevent the upload of films.
We searched for a few recent Bollywood films on YouTube, and found the following:

YouTube PiracyGolmaal Returns
— Karzz 2008
— Fashion
— Drona
— Mukhbir

All these films have been uploaded by the user bipasha13. Remember that India music label T-Series has taken YouTube to court regarding uploads of copyrighted content, and they don’t have a Safe Harbor in India since the Digital Millenium Copyright Act isn’t applicable. On its part, Google has wooed content owners like Eros, Rajshri, Zoom, among others, who have set up their own promotional channels on the platform for a revenue share, but that’s no excuse for not clamping down on illegal uploads.

Barjatya, however, praises YouTube “They’ve given us tools to remove content. We have flagged off thousands of videos of Rajshri and Rajshri.com ontent. We have a team looking at content on YouTube. Today, you will find less than 1% piracy for Rajshri content. A majority of our content passes through a digital watermark, which YouTube has allowed us to use. We have not made any of our betas to YouTube, and whatever we upload goes through digital fingerprinting process, and that prohibits the user from uploading the same content again. If there is a frame, or a succession of frames, the system will block the upload.”

We’ve contacted Google India for comments on the pirated content we found on YouTube, and what steps they’re taking to prevent the upload of copyrighted content on YouTube.

Related:
—  Google Files For India Patent For Detecting Copyright Content

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Written By

Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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