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By Torrenting "Udta Punjab," You'll Help Pahlaj Nihalani Financially Punish Artists – Don't Do It

Be cool about it, guys.

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After a very messy media and legal battle with the Censor Board, the Bombay High Court finally green-lit the release of Udta Punjab with only one cut.

Makers of the film have been tussling with the film certification board, which refused to allow the movie's release unless 13 major edits were made.

But the series of unfortunate events continued for the Udta Punjab team when on June 15, just two days before its scheduled release, prints of the complete film leaked online on torrents everywhere.

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The print has a “For Censor Board” watermark on it, which many have taken to imply that leaking the film was an act of revenge by the board.

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Bollywood has gone into damage control mode to stop people from watching the film online, by claiming that there are viruses in the leaked torrent files.

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While the strategy may be a bit naive and misguided (there are countless virus-free Udta Punjab torrents out there right now), you can see where they're coming from.

First things first, don't be a douche. The makers have fought a difficult and expensive battle for the movie release and, more importantly, the freedom of expression. YOUR freedom of expression.

Punit Paranjpe / AFP / Getty Images

Even if you don't watch it in theatres, let's respect the effort that's gone into just getting this film out there, yea? Just wait for it to come out on TV.

Secondly, don't let the Censor Board be douches. They've gone out of their way to become society's self-appointed moral guardians. In the off chance that the leak did indeed happen on purpose, don't let them win.

Strdel / AFP / Getty Images

If the CBFC did leak the film, then by downloading it instead of buying a ticket, you become complicit in a pretty shady move – a government board financially punishing artists for daring to shed light on India's biggest drug crisis in history.

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