Plagued by offline piracy and online illegal downloads, Bollywood production houses have decided to hit back by tapping the potential of the Internet not just to make things legal but also as a new distribution tool for their movies.
One of Bollywood۪s largest production houses, Sooraj Barjatya۪s Rajshri Media has announced the launch of online music and movie downloads and online DVD stores.
Rajshri Media has taken a big leap forward by deciding to release its latest offering, Vivah۪, starring Shahid Kapur and Amrita Rao, on its new broadband website, www.rajshri.com, simultaneously with its theatrical release on 10th November. This is a first for the Indian film industry. Mostly targeted at the NRI community, the movie will be available for download from 12 noon today for just $9.99.
What۪s more, cine lovers can view entire movies free on the website. www.rajshri.com has added more than 300 new and classic movies to its achieve, which can be viewed free through streaming service. One has to pay only if he wants to download the movie. One can also rank, comment and recommend the various content available on the site.
It has also added top TV shows, a wide variety of music videos, short films and documentaries for free viewing on its website. Rajshri Media is also planning to add astrology, humour, recipes, yoga, management and spirituality to its website.
This is the first experimentation of its kind in the world. Through this, we are aiming to legalise illegal downloads over the Net. We are also offering multiple versions of the movie Vivah۪, like English subtitles and the Telugu-dubbed version Parinayam۪. This is the beginning of a new era in film distribution in Bollywood, said Rajjat A Barjatya, MD, Rajshri Media Ltd.
However, there is a catch, the Microsoft powered Digital Rights Management (DRM) system won۪t allow you to copy the downloaded movie on to any DVD. It will only get stored in your computer۪s hard drive and will expire after 72 hours. Rajshri Media has ensured this on their websites.