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Union Cabinet clears bill to change film certification, curb piracy

The bill is likely to primarily target film piracy and limit the release of pirated versions of movies, which cause financial damage to the film industry

Bollywood

Illustration: Ajay Mohanty

BS Web Team New Delhi

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The Union Cabinet cleared the Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill, 2023, on Wednesday (April 19), The Times of India (TOI) reported. The bill is likely to be presented in the monsoon session of the parliament and carries provisions for harsher punishments for offences like film piracy. The bill may also introduce new age-group categories to classify various kinds of films.

The bill is likely to primarily target film piracy and limit the release of pirated versions of movies, which cause financial damage to the film industry, according to the report.

The draft of the document is not available in the public domain, but the government has stressed the point of addressing issues relating to film certification. The report said that the government plans to introduce new age-based categorisations of film certifications, dividing the existing UA category into three age-based categories of seven years (UA7+), 13 years (UA 13+), and 16 years (UA 16+) to replace the earlier 12 years' category.

The amendments also cover unauthorised recording and exhibition of films, stricter punishments, and a mechanism for the government to block websites from providing unauthorised copies of films.

People aware of the development were quoted in the report as saying that the earlier bill that limited the validity of CBFC certificates to only 10 years will now be valid perpetually. In its previous version, the bill introduced a number of changes, including the provision granting the government the authority to re-examine a film it has already cleared. This part of the proposed legislation saw a backlash from the film fraternity.

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First Published: Apr 20 2023 | 3:02 PM IST

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