A bill to curb piracy to help the film industry and simplify licensing procedure was passed by Rajya Sabha on Thursday after the opposition staged a walkout over its demand for a discussion on the Manipur situation.
The bill, which seeks to amend the Cinematograph Act, 1952, was passed by a voice vote.
In the bill, the government has proposed a maximum three-year jail term and a fine up to five per cent of the production cost of a film for persons making pirated copies of movies.
The Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill-2023 also proposes to allow the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) grant certificate to films with perpetual validity by doing away with the 10-year validity period.
The bill seeks to introduce three age-based certifications under 'UA' category, namely 'UA 7+', 'UA 13+' and 'UA 16+', and also to empower the CBFC to sanction a film with a separate certificate for its exhibition on television or other media.
In a bid to curb film piracy, the bill seeks to introduce new sections in the Cinematograph Act with provisions to prohibit unauthorised recording of films (section 6AA) and their exhibition (section 6AB).
The stringent new provision 6AA in the bill also prohibits recording of a film or any part thereof with the sole purpose of using the recording in the same device.
Replying to a debate on the bill in the Upper House, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said it has been brought to end the Rs 20,000 crore losses being incurred by the film industry due to piracy.
The proposed legislation would also make film certification process better, he said.
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