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Business News/ Industry / Media/  I&B ministry to appoint nodal officers to curb film piracy
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I&B ministry to appoint nodal officers to curb film piracy

As of now there is no institutional mechanism to directly take action against pirated film content

The Cinematograph (Amendment) Act, 1952, passed during the monsoon session aims to control film piracy in the country.Premium
The Cinematograph (Amendment) Act, 1952, passed during the monsoon session aims to control film piracy in the country.

New Delhi: The ministry of information and broadcasting has established an institutional mechanism of nodal officers to receive complaints against film piracy and direct intermediaries to take down pirated content on digital platforms. The move comes close on the heels of the Parliament having passed the Cinematograph (Amendment) Act, 1952 during the monsoon session, that also aimed to control piracy in the country.

As of now there is no institutional mechanism to directly take action against pirated film content except legal measures under Copyright Act and Indian Penal Code.

Speaking about the bill in the Parliament, Union I&B minister Anurag Thakur had said that the Act aimed to curb film piracy, a measure which has been a long standing demand of the film industry. The Act was amended after 40 years to incorporate provisions against film piracy, including digital piracy after the last significant amendments were made in 1984. The amendment includes strict punishment of a minimum of three months’ imprisonment and fine of Rs. 3 lakh which can be extended up to three years imprisonment and fine upto 5% of the audited gross production cost.

An original copyright holder or any person authorised by them for this purpose can apply to the nodal officer to take down pirated content. If a complaint is raised by a person who does not hold the copyright or is not authorised by the copyright holder, the Nodal Officer can hold hearings on a case-to-case basis to decide the genuineness of the complaint before issuing directions, the ministry said in a statement.

After receiving directions from the nodal officer under the law, the digital platform will be obliged to remove such Internet links hosting pirated content within a period of 48 hours.

The Cinematograph (Amendment) Act, 2023, passed by the Parliament in the monsoon session of 2023 addressed issues relating to film certification, including the issue of unauthorized recording and exhibition of films and film piracy by transmission of unauthorized copies on the Internet, besides imposing strict penalties for piracy. These amendments are in line with existing laws that address the issue of film piracy, through the Copyright Act, 1957, and the Information Technology Act (IT) 2000.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lata Jha
Lata Jha covers media and entertainment for Mint. She focuses on the film, television, video and audio streaming businesses. She is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism. She can be found at the movies, when not writing about them.
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Published: 03 Nov 2023, 02:12 PM IST
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