Parliament passed the Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill, 2023
The 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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