The News Scroll 16 March 2020  Last Updated at 10:35 pm | Source: PTI

Parl panels asks I&B Ministry to include ''fair-use'' clause in cinematograph bill

Parl panels asks I&B Ministry to include ''fair-use'' clause in cinematograph bill
New Delhi, Mar 16 (PTI) A parliamentary panel on Monday asked the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to revisit the Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill and include a "fair use" provision to provide adequate safeguards to the innocent viewers as it could lead to harassment of people using film clip for non-commercial purposes.

The bill was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on February 12, 2019, and was referred by then Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to the standing committee on information technology later that month for examination and report.

In its report presented to the Lok Sabha on Monday, the committee said there was no denying the fact that everyday more and more people in India get online and number of people with access to mobile Internet was also increasing day by day.

Therefore, the panel said, in the present era when a large chunk of population is active on social media, it would like the ministry to ensure that unreasonable restrictions are not imposed on them.

It urged the ministry to "revisit the Bill and consider inclusion of ''fair use'' provision to provide adequate safeguards to the innocent viewers lest it should lead to confusion and misuse of the proposed provision in the Bill and related harassment of the innocent people for using film clip for non-commercial and other such purposes".

The bill should not inadvertently make criminals out of ordinary citizens, said the panel headed by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor.

In a general sense, fair use is any copying of copyrighted material done for a limited purpose, such as to comment upon, criticise, or parody a copyrighted work. Such uses can be done without permission from the copyright owner.

The committee also noted that a person who contravenes the provisions of Section 6AA shall be punishable with an imprisonment for a term, which may extend to three years or with fine that may extend to Rs 10 lakh or both.

However, the committee said to its surprise, that there was no mention of the minimum period for imprisonment and the minimum fine.

The plea that the quantum of punishment may be decided by the courts is not convincing, according to the panel.

The committee also observed that the bill, in its present form, was not ambitious enough to cover wide range of issues concerning the public, and the dramatic transformation of the information and cinematography landscape in the present time.

"The committee trust that the Ministry would keep its promise with all seriousness so that issues like film certification and piracy can be synchronized by amending the Principal Act," the report said.

The government had introduced the bill in Rajya Sabha last year to amend the Cinematograph Act and impose strict penalty to combat the menace of film piracy.

The then Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, Rajyavardhan Rathore, had introduced the Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in the Upper House.

To check piracy, particularly the release of pirated versions of films on the Internet which causes huge losses to the film industry and the exchequer, the bill proposes to make film piracy offences punishable with imprisonment of up to three years and fines that may extend to Rs 10 lakh or both.

The proposed amendment 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. PTI ASK HMB

Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI
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