Baahubali falls prey to hi-tech movie pirates

According to Hyderabad police Baahubali 2 is the first movie, or at least which is known so far, to be pirated using a Capture Card.

By Author  |  Published: 21st May 2017  12:12 amUpdated: 12th Jun 2017  11:36 pm
400 crore Baahubai
Poster of the film "Baahubali: The Conclusion". Source: Twitter.

Hyderabad: Grainy hollow sounding prints mostly shot on videocams and mobile phones in theatres, which were the hallmark of pirated movies, are now passé.

The Capture Card is here, ensuring high-quality prints. And it took a movie of mammoth proportions like Baahubali: The Conclusion for the film industry and the police to realise that movie pirates were catching up on the latest technology.

If cyber cops in Hyderabad are to be believed, Baahubali 2 is the first movie, or at least which is known so far, to be pirated using a Capture Card. The Hyderabad Cybercrime Station, which busted the piracy racket and arrested the pirates, said they mastered the technology that will help them crack such cases in future.

“Capture Card is a new technology used nowadays. There were no such cases reported earlier in the city. We came to know about it while investigating the Baahubali 2 piracy case,” said KCS Raghuveer, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Cyber Crime.

Explaining the modus operandi, he said movie producers sell satellite rights to various companies who screen the film in theatres through their United Media Works (UMW) servers. Video pirates are now targeting these servers. “They place the Capture Card in the slot area given in the server, which is approximately the size of a computer’s Central Processing Unit (CPU). They copy the video from there and use it to make more copies,” Raghuveer said.

A movie is shown in theatres through UMW digital servers in an encrypted mode with unique watermarks. These watermarks generate an encryption key, which is used by distributors and theatre owners for decryption and displaying.

Pirates make a digital high definition copy of the movie by applying the encrypted key using High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) devices and create a high-quality pirated version.
In the case of Baahubali 2, the CCS identified that the suspects captured the video from a UMW server in a Bihar theatre. Now, the CCS summoned UMW officials to Hyderabad to ask them to make their servers more secure.