Mumbai police have arrested employees of UFO Moviez, Reliance Big Cinemas, Adlabs and Shemaroo Entertainment in connection with a plot to pirate UTV Motion Pictures’ What’s Your Rashee?, which is being released today.
UTV has since demanded compensation of $10m (Rs500m) each from UFO Moviez and Adlabs for “abetting piracy and infringement of copyright”, to be paid up within seven days.
The persons arrested included UFO Moviez associate vice president, digital mastering, Rajesh Chowdhry (who has since been sacked), Big Cinemas manager of overseas distribution Neerav Shah, Adlabs Processing manager Durgadas Bhakta and Kalapi Nagda, who heads overseas distribution for Shemaroo Entertainment.
The master print of What’s Your Rashee?, directed by Ashutosh Gowariker, was allegedly stolen from Adlabs processing lab on Monday. This week’s other release, Fast Forward, was also stolen.
Reliance Big Pictures issued an official statement saying: “Anybody found guilty of any wrong-doing as far as the law of the country is concerned, will be strictly dealt with.”
The piracy racket is believed to cross borders between India and Pakistan. A meeting of producers, distributors and lab owners is scheduled for early next week.