Piracy Laws for ‘Cam’ Pirates in India

by | Dec 30, 2021 | 0 comments

Have you been selling movies you recorded on your camera? or are you uploading them on the internet for free? If you are, then it’s imperative that you read further…

With over 1000 movies produced every year; India has a thriving film industry. It’s also one of the largest markets in the world for movies, which also makes it the biggest market for pirated content. Major titles get pirated and distributed in the black market as soon as it’s released either for free or for as low as a dollar or ₹ 74. This not only results in loss of revenue for many producers but also makes piracy lucrative.

Camcording Piracy

India’s Managing Director of Motion Picture Distributors’ Association, Uday Singh quoted that, “Content theft or piracy in the film industry originates from ‘camcording’ in cinema halls. The Indian film industry loses around Rs 18,000 crore ($2.7 billion) and over 60,000 jobs every year because of piracy.”

The major cause for pirating movies is its ease in availability which is within a few hours from its release. According to the estimates, about 90% of pirated releases can be traced back to camcorders or smartphone recordings.

Piracy Law

Towards preventing unauthorized recording, copying, and distribution of pirated content, the Indian government put forward a proposal to amend the Cinematograph Act and protect the local film industry.

On February 6, 2019,  Sitanshu Kar, Principal Spokesperson for the Government of India announced that the amendments to the 1952 Cinematograph Act have been passed by the Union Cabinet.

Stiff Sentence and a Huge Fine

As per the amendments, no person is authorized to use audio or video recording devices to record or distribute a movie without the written and explicit permission of copyright holders. The proposed punishment included a 3 years jail term and/or a fine of up to $14,000/Rs. 10,00,000.   This rather severe punishment is expected to act as a deterrent to pirates and would-be pirates.

Will it Completely Eradicate Piracy?

While the Media & Entertainment industry has received this news with great enthusiasm hoping it will curtail piracy, popular torrent sites like TamilRockers seem unperturbed and continue business as usual. While this law is a welcome move and might deter pirates, it’s unlikely that it will completely put an end to piracy.  A concerted effort by antipiracy companies, media companies, enforcement agencies, internet companies, and implementation of strict statutory laws is the need of the hour.

What are your thoughts on the proposed law? Is it going to be effective in controlling piracy in India? Let us know in the comments below.

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