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MIB includes film piracy clause in Cinematograph Act; seeks public comments

Film piracy, particularly release of pirated version of films on internet, has been a cause of grave concern as it causes huge losses to the film industry and government exchequer. The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) has, therefore, felt it necessary to have enabling provision in the Cinematograph Act, 1952 in order to check film piracy. 

Penalties for contravention of provisions for certification of films for public exhibition are given under Section 7 of the Cinematograph Act, 1952. The MIB proposes for introduction of Cinematograph Act (Amendment) Bill for inclusion of a new Sub-Section (4) of Section 7 of the Cinematograph Act, 1952 that states: 

“Notwithstanding any law for the time being in force including any provision of the Copyright Act, 1957, any person who, during the exhibition of an audio-visual work, cinematographic in an exhibition facility used to exhibit cinematograph films or audio-visual recordings and without the written authorisation of the copyright owner, uses any audio-visual recording device to knowingly make or transmit or attempt to make or transmit or abet the making or transmission of a copy or visual recording or sound recording embodying a cinematograph film or audio-visual recording or any part thereof or a copy of sound recording accompanying such cinematograph film or audio-visual recording or any part thereof during subsistence of copyright in such cinematograph film or sound recording, shall be punishable with imprisonment not exceeding three years and shall also be liable to fine not exceeding Rs 10 lakh, or to a term of imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or both.”

The Ministry has solicited comments from the general public on the Draft Cinematograph Act (Amendment) Bill by February 2, 2019.

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