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Parliament passes Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill – 2023 prohibiting unauthorized recording and exhibition of films

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Parliament has passed the Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill, 2023 with the Lok Sabha approving it today amid din. The Rajya Sabha has already passed the Bill. The Bill seeks to amend the Cinematograph Act, 1952 under which the certificate issued by the Central Board of Film Certification was valid for 10 years. Now, the certificate will be perpetually valid.
Replying to a brief discussion over the Bill, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Singh Thakur said, the credibility of Indian films has increased immensely across the world and the country is producing the highest number of films. Talking about the merits of the Bill, he said, this legislation will benefit every person associated with the film industry.

He said, this will check the piracy which is causing huge loss to the film industry.  Mr. Thakur added that the film industry is incurring loss of around 22 thousand crore rupees every year due to piracy. He said, the Bill is also intended to prohibit the unauthorised recording of the films and ease the process of licensing procedure as the certificates will be perpetually valid.

Lauding the achievement made by the Indian Films and documentary in the Oscar, he said, film RRR and documentary the Elephant Whisperers have earned laurels for the country at the world stage. He expressed confidence that the Indian film industry will win more awards in the future also.

Mr. Thakur said, Indian film industry has a huge potential to become content hub of the world. Criticizing the opposition for disrupting the proceedings of the House, the Minister said, opposition is against the rising soft power of the country and the film industry. The Bill is aimed at checking piracy issues in the film industry. It amends the Cinematography Act 1952.
The Bill is intended to ensure that the film content does not suffer due to piracy as the menace causes heavy loss to the industry. The Bill prohibits the unauthorized recording and exhibition of films. Attempting an unauthorized recording will be an offence with imprisonment between three months and three years.

It will also attract a fine between three lakh rupees and five percent of the audited gross production cost. The Bill has a provision to add certain additional certificate categories based on age. Films with an ‘A’ or ‘S’ certificate will require a separate certificate for exhibition on television, or any other media prescribed by the central government.

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