As the film industry suffers a loss of about Rs 20,000 crore every year due to piracy, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has taken strict steps to stop piracy.
Steps being taken by the government to stop piracy:
- The Cinematograph (Amendment) Act, 1952 has been passed by the Parliament during the monsoon session this year.
- Along with this, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has set up an institutional mechanism of nodal officers to receive complaints against piracy and direct intermediaries to remove pirated content on digital platforms.
- After receiving instructions from the nodal officer under the law, the digital platform will be bound to remove such internet links offering pirated content within a period of 48 hours.
What are the legal provisions to prevent piracy:
- As of now, there is no institutional mechanism to take direct action on pirated film content except legal action under copyright law and IPC.
- Speaking about the bill in Parliament, Union Minister Anurag Thakur said that the purpose of this law is to fulfill the long-standing demand of the film industry to curb film piracy.
- The law was amended 40 years later to include provisions against film piracy, including digital piracy, with the last significant amendment being made in 1984.
Provision of punishment in law:
- The amendment includes stricter punishment of minimum 3 months imprisonment and fine up to Rs 3 lakh,
- The punishment may extend to 3 years and a fine may extend to 5 percent of the audited gross production cost.
Who can apply against piracy?
- The original copyright holder or any person authorized by him for this purpose can apply to the nodal officer for removal of pirated material.
- If a complaint is made by a person who does not hold the copyright or is not authorized by the copyright holder, the Nodal Officer may hold a hearing on a case-by-case basis to decide the genuineness of the complaint before issuing directions.
Cinematograph (Amendment) Law, 2023 (12 of 2023):
- The Cinematograph (Amendment) Law, 2023 (12 of 2023), passed by Parliament in the monsoon session, addressed issues related to film certification, including the issue of unauthorized recording and screening of films and film piracy by broadcasting unauthorized copies on the internet.
- There are strict penalties for piracy.
- The amendments are in line with existing laws (Copyright Act, 1957 and Information Technology (IT) Act 2000) that address issues of film piracy.
Main provisions of the Cinematograph Act, 1952:
- The newly inserted section 6AB of the Cinematograph Act, 1952 provides that no person shall use an infringing copy of any film for exhibiting to the public for profit at any exhibition place
- or abet anyone who is not licensed under this Act or the rules made thereunder;
- or in a manner which is infringing on copyright under the provisions of the Copyright Act, 1957 or any other law for the time being in force.
- Further, the newly inserted section 7(1B)(ii) in the Cinematograph Act provides that the Government may take suitable action for removing/disabling access to such an infringing copy exhibited/hosted on an intermediary platform in a manner in contravention to the section 6AB referred to above.