Cinematograph Amendment Bill 2023 introduced in Rajya Sabha

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Cinematograph-Amendment-Bill-2023-introduced-in-Rajya-SabhaUnion Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur introduced the Cinematograph Amendment Bill 2023 in the Rajya Sabha to deal with film piracy.

An Overview of the News

  • The primary objective of the Cinematograph Amendment Bill is to tackle film piracy, which has been a significant concern for the Indian film industry.

  • A report by Ernst & Young states that the Indian film industry suffered a huge loss of around Rs 18,000 crore in 2019 due to piracy.

  • In response to alarming piracy rates, the Indian government took action by proposing amendments to the existing Cinematograph Bill 1952.

  • The Cinematograph Bill 1952 is responsible for overseeing the certification and exhibition of films in India.

  • The proposed amendments are aimed at strengthening the regulatory framework and enhancing measures against film piracy.

About Piracy

It is the unauthorized copying, distribution or exhibition of films without the consent of the rights holders, which poses a significant challenge by affecting the revenue and overall quality of the Indian film industry.

Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill 2023:

  • The Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill 2023 was introduced to effectively deal with the issue of piracy.

  • One of the key provisions of the Bill is to reclassify films on the basis of age groups instead of the existing system of 'U', 'A' or 'UA'. The proposed classification includes "UA-7+", "UA-13+" and "UA-16+", replacing the existing "UA-12" category.

  • The main objective behind the recategorization is to establish consistency in categorizing movies and content across different platforms.

  • The Bill, once enacted, would recognize theft as a legal offence, leading to stricter punishment for those responsible. Punishment for piracy will now include three years' imprisonment and a fine of Rs 10 lakh.

Indian Cinematograph Bill 1952:

  • The Indian Cinematograph Bill of 1952 established censor boards in various cities, which were later reorganized as the Central Board of Film Censors and renamed the Central Board of Film Certification in 1983.

  • The primary objective of the Cinematograph Bill 1952 is to provide for a certification procedure for cinematograph films intended for public exhibition and to regulate such exhibitions.

  • The Cinematograph Bill 1952 also included the screening of film titles. Titles depicting excessive violence, obscene language, obscenity, contempt of court, insult to national symbols, or misrepresentation of personality or religion are prohibited.

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