Film piracy can now land people in jail, Siddharth Roy Kapur and others hail the move

Updated: Feb 07, 2019, 15:32 IST | IANS

Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved an amendment to the Cinematograph Act, 1952, to tackle the menace of film piracy and copyright infringement making penal provisions of a three-year jail term or Rs 10 lakh fine or both

Film piracy can now land people in jail, Siddharth Roy Kapur and others hail the move
Siddharth Roy Kapur

Hindi film fraternity members like Siddharth Roy Kapur, Omung Kumar B and Indra Kumar see the Union Cabinet's approval of a jail term for film piracy as a significant move and an excellent decision for the industry's growth. The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved an amendment to the Cinematograph Act, 1952, to tackle the menace of film piracy and copyright infringement making penal provisions of a three-year jail term or Rs 10 lakh fine or both.

Siddharth Roy Kapur, President of the Producers Guild of India, said in a statement: "This is a significant move to protect intellectual property in our country. This communicates to all stakeholders that as a country we respect and reward innovation and creativity, and will ensure that the rights of owners and creators of this intellectual property are safeguarded."

Filmmaker Anees Bazmee called it an "excellent decision" and said "it will combat the threats of piracy and hopefully, eradicate it completely. The producers and shareholders will be in a better space as their creativity and property will be secured."

Producer Sandip Ssingh, who is working on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's upcoming biopic, feels that it is an important step and will "surely help the industry to grow".

National Award-winning director Omung Kumar welcomed the move by the government. "This will ensure that whoever indulges in piracy or cam-cording will be penalised. For the longest time, many films have suffered because they have either been leaked online or prints have been stolen from cinema halls. I believe that with the fear of being penalised and with the law being after those who indulge in piracy, it will act as a huge deterrent, at least significantly."

Recalling how piracy affected his 2016 movie Great Grand Masti, filmmaker Indra Kumar said: "It was one of my most traumatic moments in my life... During 'Great Grand Masti', the losses were so huge that I can't even begin to think of how I survived those days.

"It was like a massive truck had run over me, and the impact was so big, that no filmmaker or anyone for that matter, who creates something, should go through this. Crores of rupees were lost, all the hard work, blood, sweat and tears of my team went down the drain in a single night because of the piracy."

He termed piracy as "a menace, a disease that must be treated". Producer Anand Pandit added: "Issues like copyright infringement, film piracy, cam-cording and content leakage have definitely led to weakening the Indian film industry by hampering the deserved revenue production.

"I welcome the amendment to the Cinematograph Act which will penalise anyone who indulges in piracy."

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