The Cinematograph Amendment Bill, 2019

The Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the Cinematograph Amendment Bill 2019. This Amendment bill aims to amend the Cinematograph Amendment act 1952. I have in a previous article available here discussed the Cinematograph Bill, 2018 in detail, however there have been certain additional features that have been inculcated in the 2019 Bill, This present article discusses these Features and Highlights of the 2019 Bill

The Salient features of the amendment bill are:

  • The Amendment Bill makes Film Piracy offences punishable with imprisonment up to three years and fines that may extend to 10 lakh or both.
  • The amendment clearly states that any person, who without the written authorisation of the copyright owner, uses any recording device to make or transmit a copy of a film, or attempts to do so, or abet the making or transmission of such a copy, will be liable for such a punishment.
  • Section 7 of the original Cinematograph Act, 1952 deals with who can watch and exhibit which films and penalties or violating terms and conditions related to the exhibition of board-certified films. The amendment bill adds a new subsection (4) to section 7 of the Cinematograph Act, 1952 with the definition of piracy and the penal provisions for the same.

The Cinematograph Amendment Bill, 2019 aims to tackle film piracy by including the penal provisions for unauthorised camcording and duplication of films. The Bill when passed can build a credible deterrence which would increase industries revenues, boost job creation, fulfil important objectives of India’s National Intellectual Property policy and will give relief against piracy and infringing content online. In order to tackle the menace of film piracy, the Amendment Bill also provide for:

  • Insertion of new Section 6 AA for the prohibition of unauthorized recording

The following section shall be inserted after Section 6A of the Cinematograph Act, 1952.

6AA: “Notwithstanding any law for the time being in force, no person shall without the written authorization of the author be permitted to use any audio visual recording device to knowingly make or transmit or attempt to make or transmit or abet the making or transmission of a copy of a film or a part thereof.”

*The expression author shall have the same meaning as assigned to it in the clause (d) of Section 2 of the Copyright Act of 1957.

Furthermore there has been an amendment proposed in Section 7 to introduce Penal Provisions for violating provisions of Section 6 AA .In Section 7 of the principal Act, after sub-section 1 the following subsection (1A) shall be inserted:

“If any person contravenes the provisions of Section 6AA, he shall be punishable with an imprisonment for a term which may extend to 3 years or with fine which may extend to 10 lakh rupees or with both.”
According to the law, No person shall be permitted without the written authorization of the author to use any audio visual recording device to knowingly make or transmit or attempt to make or transmit or abet the making or transmission of a copy of a film or a part thereof.

“There are penal provisions for unauthorized camcording and duplication of films”, stated Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in official press release. In light of these it is certain that there would be stricter norms in use of Smartphone, Google glasses and other such electronic devices in theaters.

Author: Mr. Shubham Borkar, Senior Associate – Litigation and Business Development  and Priya Rane –Intern, at Khurana & Khurana, Advocates and IP Attorneys. In case of any queries please contact/write back to us at shubham@khuranaandkhurana.com or at www.linkedin.com/in/shubhamborkar.

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