After longstanding pressure from both Hollywood and Bollywood, the ministry of information and broadcasting in India has drafted a proposal that may land offenders in prison and force them to pay hefty fines.
The proposed law states that unauthorized recording audio or video footage at a movie theater will attract up to three years in prison or a fine up to INR 10 Lakhs (roughly $14,000) or both.
The movie piracy rate in India is quite high and has existed for quite some time now. In spite of the efforts made by the government to protect the interests of filmmakers, offline piracy through camcorded movies is still a problem.
Apparently, a large fraction of camcorded movie leaks found of pirate sites is originated in Indian movie theaters. The reason behind this could be the spike in internet users in the last decade, which soared from 5 million to half a billion.
Filmmakers in India and overseas have spoken out on multiple occasions against the number of lapses in the existing Cinematograph Act of India.
“The Indian Government should swiftly enact legislative amendments to outlaw unauthorized recording of all or part of an audiovisual work in a cinema,” stated MPAA just recently.
There was also some pressure from the US Trade Representative that proposed several amendments to the Cinematograph act in its Special 301 Report.
Whether this external pressure played a role in the proposal of this new law is yet to be seen, but it certainly makes it clear that the Indian government is serious about cracking down on camcording pirates in the country.