The Union Cabinet recently approved the Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill 2023, which has provisions to curb the transmission of pirated film content on the Internet.
Why in News?
- The Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill 2019 was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on 12th February 2019.
- It was referred to the Standing Committee on Information Technology which presented its report on 16th March 2020.
- The Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill, 2023, was prepared after seeking public comments, followed by several rounds of stakeholder consultations.
- It will be introduced in the Parliament during the upcoming monsoon session.
About Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill 2023:
- It seeks to amend the Cinematograph Act 1952.
- It has provisions for harsher punishment for film piracy and the introduction of new-age categories for classifying films.
- Film Classification:
- It has provisions to classify films on the basis of age group instead of the current practice of rating them "U" (unrestricted public exhibition), "A" (restricted to adult audiences), and "UA" (unrestricted public exhibition subject to parental guidance for children below the age of 12).
- The amendments seek to add new classifications – ‘UA-7+’, ‘UA-13+’, and ‘UA-16+’ in place for 12 years.
- It also seeks to bring about uniformity in categorisation of films and content across platforms.
- Stricter Laws Against Piracy:
- The Bill holds stricter punishment for those responsible for piracy. This includes three years of imprisonment and a Rs 10 lakh penalty for those engaged in piracy.
- Once the Bill is released, the act of piracy will be considered an offence legally and will include even transmitting pirated content punishable.
What is the Cinematograph Act 1952?
- It was enacted by the Parliament to ensure that films are exhibited in accordance with the limits of tolerance of Indian society.
- It establishes Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC, popularly known as the censor board) appointed by the Central Government to sanction and certify films.
- The Board scrutinizes the film in its entirety and based on the contemporary standard of Indian society following the procedure laid down under the Act.
- Board can either make a speaking order of rejection or grant the certificate, which shall be valid for ten years.
- The Act also authorizes the police to conduct search and seizure if the film is being exhibited in contravention of any of the provisions of the Act.
Q1) What is the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC)?
The Central Board of Film Certification whose headquarters are located in Mumbai with nine regional office locations is the body responsible for certifying films and certifying their authenticity. A film is defined as a story or event captured in moving pictures and displayed on television or in a theatre.