New Delhi: The Lok Sabha Monday passed the Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill, 2023, which aims to curb film piracy and give more powers to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) to issue separate certificates for a film’s exhibition on television or any other media.
The bill was passed after a brief discussion within half an hour, even as opposition members protested by standing in the well of the House, seeking prime minister Narendra Modi’s presence in the House and his response on the Manipur violence.
Kirit Solanki, who was in the Chair, adjourned the House for the day after the passage of the Bill.
The bill amends the Cinematograph Act, 1952.
It was passed by Rajya Sabha last week.
Piloting the bill, Minister of Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur said in Lok Sabha that India is the largest film market in the world, where most films are made.
With the documentary “The Elephant Whisperers”, and South Indian films like “RRR” making it big in the international markets and even winning the prestigious Oscar award, this has proved India’s soft power in world cinema, he said.
Thakur said that even in Central Asian countries, youngsters sing songs of films like the hit “Disco Dancer”, which came in 1982, when most of the youngsters were not even born.
The bill seeks to crack a whip on film piracy and aims to give more powers the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) to issue separate certificates for a film’s exhibition on television or any other media.
It also entails a three-year jail term and a fine of up to 5 per cent of a film’s production cost for those making its pirated copies.
Thakur further said that through this bill, the government intends to curb piracy, as it is a bane for film makers, who make a film with a lot of hard work, and all that comes to nought when its prints get leaked due to the menace.
Criticising the protesting opposition members, the minister expressed disappointment that the opposition was not interested in the bill, which was for the welfare of Indian cinema.
The bill was later passed through voice vote.
The legislation also introduces three certifications under the ‘UA’ category, UA 7+, UA 13+, and UA 16+, which means that children younger than the given age limits can access such movies with parental guidance.