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Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill 2023

Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill 2023:

The Union Cabinet recently approved the Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill 2023, which has provisions to curb the transmission of pirated film content on the Internet.

  • The Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill 2019 was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on 12th February
  • 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.

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.