Cam Pirates in India May Receive Three-Year Prison Sentences
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  • India’s Union Cabinet has approved an update to the country’s Cinematograph Act that will criminalize cam piracy.
  • Individuals who record movies in India at theaters without permission can now serve up to three years in prison.
  • In addition to the prison sentence, individuals may also be fined up to $14,000 for each infringement.

An update to India’s Cinematograph Act that seeks to bring down piracy levels has been approved by the country’s Union Cabinet. Individuals or groups who record or broadcast movies without the required permissions may face up to three years in prison or a fine up to $14,000 or both.

India’s movie industry is the largest in the world in terms of films produced, making it one of the biggest markets for piracy. Movies are very easily available on local pirate websites with instances of cam prints being available early on. Most of India’s piracy activity can be traced to cam in-theater recordings. It is estimated that 90% of all releases on pirate websites are camcorder and smartphone recordings.

Motion Picture Distributors’ Association (India)’s Managing Director Uday Singh recently stated: “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.

Principal Spokesperson for the Government of India Sitanshu Kar announced the Union Cabinet’s approval of the amendment to India’s Cinematograph Act on Wednesday. Individuals who want to record audio or video of movies will have to seek permission and failing to do so will be punishable by law.

It is unknown if piracy group TamilRockers will slow down its activity following the announcement. It is one of the most popular pirate websites and it caters to millions of users in the country. Despite court orders blocking a large number of domains owned by the piracy group, they continue to be active.

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