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Rajya Sabha passes bill to prevent film piracy, make India content hub Rajya Sabha
Image: UNI

Rajya Sabha passes bill to prevent film piracy, make India content hub

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 27 Jul 2023, 08:06 pm

New Delhi/IBNS/UNI: The Rajya Sabha Thursday approved Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill 2023 which seeks to contain piracy of films and promote India to become a global content hub.

The Upper House passed the bill by voice vote. Opposition MPs under INDIA alliance parties were not present in the House when the bill was debated and passed as they had staged a walkout over Manipur violence.

Replying to the debate on the bill, Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Minister Anurag Thakur said that the proposed legislation would protect the interests of artists, content producers, directors, and all others engaged in the film-making business by putting stringent provisions against piracy.

He echoed the concerns of many members that pirated content today can be sent anywhere in the world within seconds using mobile phones but in the process, it destroys years of hard work put in by original content producers.

"The Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill 2023 is going to protect their rights and interests," Thakur said.

The Minister said that Indian films are providing a lot of soft power and the bill gives further strength to it.

"India being a country of story-tellers, we have all the ingredients to become the content hub of the world and India should emerge as a content hub of the world," Thakur said.

He noted that a lot of post-production works of films made outside are currently happening in India, and the animation, VFX, and gaming (AVG) sector is growing quite rapidly.

Over concerns around delay in certification of films by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), the Minister said that the agency is an autonomous body and has its own power, and following the amendment even the government would not have revision powers.

Unauthorised recording and exhibition of films badly hurts film/content producers and the new law provides for fines upto Rs 3 lakh but can be raised upto 5% of the audited gross production cost of the films.

"If the film production cost Rs 1,000 crore then the fine could be to the extent of Rs 50 crore for piracy," the Minister explained.

"Our government has worked a lot on decriminalisation. This Bill would also promote ease of business and ease of living. But when it comes to destroying someone's lives and livelihoods, the bill provides for three years imprisonment," Thakur said.

He clarified that merely recording a portion of the film over personal devices but not exhibiting it anywhere would not attract punishment.

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