Parliament passed the Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill, 2023

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Parliament-passed-the-Cinematograph-(Amendment)-Bill,-2023The Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill, 2023 was recently passed by the Parliament after approval from the Lok Sabha. It is a historic moment as the Cinematograph Act is being amended after a gap of 40 years, with the last significant changes being made in 1984.

An Overview of the News

  • The primary objective of the Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill is to combat film piracy in a big way, as it is causing an estimated loss of Rs 20,000 crore to the film industry.

  • The government wants to protect and promote the growth of the film industry, in line with the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who sees India as a global content hub.

Measures to Curb Piracy

  • The bill introduces strict penalties for piracy-related offences to deter unauthorized recording, exhibition, and transmission of films, including online piracy.

  • Offenders will face a minimum imprisonment of 3 months and a fine of Rs. 3 lakhs, with the possibility of extended imprisonment up to 3 years and a fine of up to 5% of the audited gross production cost.

Empowerment of Film Industry

  • The bill eliminates the need to renew a film's licence every 10 years, making the licence valid for a lifetime.

  • This move streamlines the licensing process and reduces bureaucratic hurdles for filmmakers.

Improved Film Certification Process

  • Age-Based Certification: The bill introduces age-based categories for film certification, dividing the existing UA category into three age groups: seven years (UA 7+), thirteen years (UA 13+), and sixteen years (UA 16+).

  • These age markers are meant for parental guidance to help determine suitable content for children.

Alignment with Supreme Court Judgements

  • The bill aligns the law with relevant Supreme Court judgments and other legislations, providing a consistent legal framework for the film industry.

Perpetual Validity of Certificates

  • Certificates issued by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) will now be valid perpetually, removing the previous 10-year restriction.

TV Broadcast and Recertification

  • Only films under the Unrestricted Public Exhibition category can be shown on television.

  • Films intended for television broadcast will require recertification of edited versions.

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