2 min read.Updated: 14 Feb 2019, 01:18 PM ISTLata Jha
Last week, the cabinet approved the I&B ministry’s proposal to introduce the Cinematograph Amendment Bill, 2019, and amend the Cinematograph Act, 1952
The bill, which aims to tackle camcording and duplication of films, was introduced in the Rajya Sabha this week
What do the Bill’s provisions entail?
The Bill has two parts. The first part seeks to make film piracy illegal and the second details punishment for the same. The amendment requires the insertion of a new section (section 6AA) in the Cinematograph Act to ensure the prohibition of unauthorized recording, usually in movie theatres. Another section requires the introduction of penal provisions for violating provisions of section 6AA. “If any person contravenes the provisions of section 6AA, he shall be punishable with an imprisonment for a term which may extend to 3 years or with fine which may extend to 10 lakh rupees or with both," it says
How big a threat is film piracy?
According to a report by Irdeto, a global solutions provider in digital platform security and media and entertainment, the Indian media and entertainment industry loses $2.8 billion of its annual revenue to piracy. India is among the top five countries in peer-to-peer downloading. According to a study by Envisional Ltd, a firm providing customized brand and trademark monitoring services, Indians are the largest group of visitors to Indian content-focused torrent sites and also constitute the largest or second-largest group of people who visit major international bit-torrent sites like Mininova, Torrentz and The Pirate Bay.
Why is piracy so rampant in India?
High ticket prices, low income levels and cheap net infrastructure are the major factors leading to content piracy. The release of films in places like UAE prior to India is another reason.
How will the amendment help?
The Indian film industry has long cited piracy as a major challenge to its growth. The Union Budget presented earlier this month also took note of the need for anti-piracy measures. The proposed amendment would increase industry revenues, boost job creation, fulfil important objectives of India’s National Internet Protocol policy and provide relief from piracy and infringing content online, a statement from the ministry of information and broadcasting said.
How has the industry responded?
This is the second major act of benevolence from the government towards the film industry after the reduction of goods and services tax rates on movie tickets late last year. Filmmakers have called it a much-awaited step that will need to be implemented across all police stations in the country. The amendment communicates to all stakeholders that India respects and rewards innovation and creativity, and will ensure that the rights of owners and creators of its intellectual property are safeguarded.