The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has proposed changes in the Cinematograph Act to impose strict penalties to combat film piracy and sought comments from people on a draft bill.
In order to check film piracy, particularly release of pirated version of films on the internet which causes huge losses to the film industry and government exchequer, the I&B ministry intends to have an enabling provision in the Cinematograph Act, 1952, a statement said.
Penalties for contravention of provisions for certification of films for public exhibition are given under Section 7 of the Cinematograph Act, 1952.
The I&B ministry has proposed the introduction of Cinematograph Act (Amendment) Bill for the inclusion of a new sub-section (4) of section 7 of the Act.
In the draft Cinematograph Act(Amendment) Bill, the ministry proposes to make film piracy offences punishable with imprisonment of three years and fines of up to Rs 10 lakh or both.
Any person, who without the written authorisation of the copyright owner, uses any recording device to make or transmit a copy of visual recording or sound recording of a film, or attempts to make or transmit, or abet the making or transmission of such a copy, will be liable for such a punishment.
Such persons shall be punishable with imprisonment not exceeding three years and shall also be liable to fine not exceeding Rs 10 lakh or both, according to the proposed amendment.
Comments on the draft Cinematograph Act (Amendment) Bill have been sought by the ministry by January 14, 2019.