Piracy net: Adlabs denies involvement; UFO sacks employee

MUMBAI: In Saturday‘s raid to unearth piracy of the to-be-released film What‘s Your Rashee?, six people were apprehended by the social service unit of the Mumbai Crime Branch.

The pirates revealed the names of some distributors who gave them information on the soon-to-be-released films and even helped procure copies of master prints.

Crime Branch chief Rakesh Maria had reportedly said that this is the handiwork of people within the industry but they are still verifying their exact role and involvement. Maria thought didn‘t disclose their names.

During investigation, names of two personnel, one from Adlabs and the other from UFO Moviez had cropped up. One of them was Adlabs business development manager Durgadas Bhakta while the other was UFO Moviez vice president (operations and digital mastering), Rajesh Chowdhry.

While Adlabs processed What‘s Your Rashee?, UFO was entrusted with the job of digitising the film and releasing it in multiplexes by uplinking it to the satellite. Chowdhry allegedly made a copy of the film on his laptop and wrote it on a DVD.

Ruling out any foul play from their end, a spokesperson of Adlabs said, "Adlabs‘ Film Processing Lab, Digital Lab, Digital Cinema Mastering facility as well as Adlabs‘ preview theatre are the only facilities in India to be accredited by FACT (Federation Against Copyright Theft). Our security measures and FACT‘s recognition, place Adlabs as one of the most protected and safe environments for motion picture handling.

"The incident regarding What‘s Your Rashee is not attributable to us in any manner. The film prints are recorded for and under the best possible security measures."

Taking a harder look at the string of incidents involving its name, UFO Moviez India Ltd. has dismissed Chowdhry from its services with immediate effect.

UFO Moviez spokesperson Charuhas Satam, in a release, has thanked crime branch officials for nabbing the criminal element from his company and extended his company‘s full co-operation to the police in further investigations.

The release states that it is significant to note that one of the pirated movies Aage Se Right was never released on UFO platform indicating that there are lapses elsewhere. "Nevertheless, it appears that this individual who was responsible for the content processing and had access to content before encryption prior to ingestion on UFO platform, may have misused his authority and betrayed the trust entrusted by the company on him."

According to Satam, UFO has communicated to the producers‘ fraternity separately and assured them that their business interests and intellectual property are of paramount importance to the company. "This unfortunate incident is in no way a challenge to the robustness of the fortress like digital security established by the UFO digital delivery platform."

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