November 7, 2023
NEW DELHI – India has appointed government officers to handle complaints about pirated films online, with digital platforms required to act on directives to remove such content within 48 hours as the country aims to stem billions in annual losses faced by its entertainment industry.
Copyright holders or their authorised representatives can approach these officers to have pirated content removed. In cases where the complaint is raised by someone other than the copyright holder, the officer will conduct hearings to verify the complaint before issuing a directive.
This move follows the introduction of the Cinematograph (Amendment) Act 2023, which was passed by Parliament earlier in the year.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said on Friday that piracy not only robs content creators of their due credit but also causes significant financial losses. The government previously said India’s film and entertainment industry loses 200 billion rupees (S$3.2 billion) to piracy each year.
Under the new laws, those guilty of engaging in piracy face strict punishment, including a minimum sentence of three months’ jail and a fine of 30,000 rupees, which can go up to three years’ jail and a fine of up to 5 per cent of the gross audited value of a film’s production.