Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill, 2023 gets approved by the Parliament

Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill, 2023 gets approved by the Parliament

This article covers ‘Daily Current Affairs’ and the topic details of ”Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill, 2023 gets approved by the Parliament”. This topic is relevant in the “Polity and Governance” section of the UPSC CSE exam.


Why in the News?

The Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill, 2023, was recently approved by both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. This bill extends the jurisdiction of the law beyond censorship to encompass copyright matters and introduces rigorous measures against piracy. Its primary objective is to make amendments to the current Cinematograph Act of 1952.


Significant provisions of the Bill

Combating Film Piracy

  • Stiffer Penalties: The bill aims to deter film piracy by introducing stricter punishments for unauthorised recording and distribution of copyrighted content. Offenders could face jail terms ranging from 3 months to 3 years and fines between Rs. 3 lakhs and 5% of the film’s production cost.


Streamlined Television and Online Broadcasting

  • Recertification for Other Media: Previously, adult-rated films were banned from television. Broadcasters often made voluntary cuts and sought re-certification for a U/A rating from the CBFC. The bill formalises this practice, allowing films to be recertified for television and “other media” platforms.
  • Perpetual Validity of Certificates: The 10-year validity period for CBFC certificates has been removed, granting them perpetual validity. This eliminates the need for filmmakers to re-certify their films after a decade.


Expanding Copyright Protection

  • Beyond Censorship: This amendment broadens the scope of the Cinematograph Act, which currently focuses primarily on censorship, to encompass copyright protection. This aligns with the evolving film distribution ecosystem and aims to safeguard the intellectual property rights of filmmakers and content creators.


Limited Government Intervention in CBFC Decisions

  • CBFC’s Autonomy: The bill emphasises the autonomy of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). This move aligns with the 2000 Supreme Court judgement in K.M. Shankarappa vs Union of India, which limited the government’s revisional powers over CBFC decisions.


Enhanced Age-Appropriate Viewing

  • Granular Age Ratings: The amendment introduces a new age rating system for films that require parental guidance. The current U/A category will be split into three distinct categories: 
  1. U/A 7+, 
  2. U/A 13+, 
  3. U/A 16+

This aligns with age-based classifications already existing for streaming platforms and recommendations put forward by the Shyam Benegal Committee.


The Need for a Modern Film Law

The Indian film industry faces a significant challenge: rampant online piracy. While the Cinematograph Act of 1952 governs film certification for theatrical release, it lacks provisions to address the piracy crisis plaguing the digital age.


Limitations of the Existing Law

  • The 1952 Act focuses solely on theatrical releases, leaving online content vulnerable to piracy.
  • Its age-based film certification categories are limited, lacking the granularity needed for today’s diverse audience.


The Rise of Piracy and OTT Platforms

  • India has emerged as a global leader in pirated content consumption, highlighting the urgency for legislative action.
  • The booming OTT industry operates under separate regulations, creating inconsistencies in content governance.


Efforts Towards Modernization

  • Recognising these issues, the government has made attempts to update the Cinematograph Act.
  • Committees led by Justice Mukul Mudgal and filmmaker Shyam Benegal were formed to address film certification and legal frameworks.


The Need for a Comprehensive Solution

  • These efforts underscore the need for a modernised film law that effectively combats piracy across all platforms – theatrical, online, and emerging media. 
  • A robust legal framework is crucial to safeguard intellectual property rights, promote content creation, and ensure a healthy and sustainable film industry in India.


About the Cinematograph Act of 1952

The Cinematograph Act of 1952 serves as a cornerstone for film regulation in India. Enacted by the Parliament, it aims to ensure that films exhibited publicly adhere to societal norms and sensitivities.


Key Provisions

  • Certification Guidelines: The Act establishes principles for film certification, considering factors like national security, public order, decency, and respect for the judiciary.
  • Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC): Section 3 empowers the establishment of the CBFC, popularly known as the Censor Board. This statutory body under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting regulates film exhibitions by following the Act’s provisions.
  • Appellate Tribunal: The Act allows for the formation of an Appellate Tribunal to address appeals against decisions made by the CBFC.

Download Yojna daily current affairs eng med 27th March 2024


Mains practise question


Q1. How important is it for cinematic laws to strike a balance between artistic freedom and societal norms, especially concerning content available on OTT platforms?


No Comments

Post A Comment