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I'm bored and everybody's talking about the many sins of T-Series. So I'm just gonna do a thread of quotes from the TWO FULL PAGES that T-Series was honored with in a 2011 book called MEDIA PIRACY IN EMERGING ECONOMIES.
"T-Series was a profoundly disruptive force in
the Indian music market, in large part because
it was a tremendously successful pirate."
"The company built its catalog through a variety of
quasi-legal and illegal practices, notably by abusing a provision in the fair-use clause of the Indian Copyright Act, which allowed for version recording. On this basis, it released thousands of cover versions of classics"
"It also engaged in more straightforward copyright
infringement in the form of pirate releases of
popular hits, and it often illegally obtained film
scores before the release of the film to ensure
that its recordings were the first to hit the market."
"Many other accusations were leveled against
T-Series, including the wholesaling of inferior
magnetic tape to competitors in an effort to
discredit their brands."
"In an
interview with the media scholar Peter Manuel, a
T-Series employee commented on the forces that
the company both capitalized on and unleashed: '“What the people say about our activities in the
early years—it is mostly true.'
"But I tell you that
back then, the big Ghazal singers would come to
us and ask us to market pirate versions of their
own cassettes, for their own publicity, since HMV
wasn’t really able to keep up with the demand.”
"When HMV found that it could not meet the
demand for one of its biggest hits, Maine Pyar
Kiya, it reportedly entered into an agreement with
pirate cassette producers to raise their price on
the album from Rs.11 to Rs.13 and pay HMV half a
rupee for every unit sold."
"On the plus side, T-Series changed the rules of
distribution in ways that permanently transformed
the music industry and music-buying public in
India."
"Breaking with the narrow existing channel
of retail outlets, T-Series moved aggressively
to distribute cassettes in neighborhood shops,
grocery stores, paan waalahs (wrapped betel-nut
stands), and tea shops —making the cassette a
ubiquitous product in Indian commercial life."
"HMV had viewed recording in languages other than Hindi
as unprofitable due to the small scale of the
respective markets. T-Series proved that it was
possible to expand these markets with stronger
distribution and lower price points. "
"These innovations were inseparable from
the company’s assault on the price structure of
recorded music in India."
"In a market dominated by
two government-licensed companies—HMV and
EMI—audio cassettes were priced between $3.60
and $4.60. T-Series reduced the price of cassettes
to $2.50, fueling the first mass market in recorded
Indian music. "
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