Legislation UpdatesRules & Regulations

On February 05, 2021, the Press Council (Procedure for Notification of Associations of Persons) Rules, 2021 have come into effect.

The Rules provides for Associations of persons to be notified i.e. the Central Government in the case of first Council and the retiring Chairman of the previous Council in the case of any subsequent Council shall, for the purpose of notifying associations of persons invite filing of claims from eligible associations of persons by giving wide publicity in atleast two widely circulated national daily newspapers.

The Rules further provide regarding the eligibility for association of persons that that an association of persons must have been registered under the relevant laws for the time being in force for atleast six years prior to last date of filing of the claims and must be conducting its business continuously thereafter, and shall submit documents in proof thereof, duly certified by the competent authority.

As per the Rules, the claims filed by associations of persons under rule 3 shall be scrutinized by a Scrutiny Committee consisting of three persons to be nominated by the Chairman from amongst members of the Council who are not associated in any manner with any of such claimant associations and shall submit its report to the Council.

Cabinet DecisionsLegislation Updates

Union Cabinet has approved the proposal for revision of the guidelines for obtaining the license for providing Direct-To-Home (DTH) broadcasting service in India. The salient features of the decision are:

  • License for the DTH will be issued for a period of 20 years in place of the present 10 years. Further the period of License may be renewed by 10 years at a time.
  • License fee has been revised from 10% of GR to 8% of AGR. AGR will be calculated by deduction of GST from GR.
  • License Fee will be collected on a quarterly basis in lieu of presently annual basis.
  • DTH operators shall be permitted to operate .to a maximum of 5% of its total channel carrying capacity as permitted platform channels. A one-time non-refundable registration fee of Rs.10,000 per PS channel shall be charged from a DTH operator.
  • Sharing of Infrastructure between DTH operators. DTH operators, willing to share DTH platform and transport stream of TV channels, on voluntary basis, will be allowed. Distributors of TV channels will be permitted to share the common hardware for their Subscriber Management System (SMS) and Conditional Access System (CAS) applications.
  • The cap of 49% FDl in the existing DTH guidelines will be aligned with the extant Government (DPIIT’s) policy on FDl as amended from time to time.
  • The decision will come into effect as per revised DTH guidelines are issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
  • The proposed reduction is intended to align the license fee regime applicable to Telecom sector and will be prospectively applied. The difference may also enable DTH service providers to invest for more coverage leading to increased operations and higher growth and thereby enhanced and regular payment of License Fee by them. Registration fee for Platform Services is likely to bring a revenue of approximately Rs. 12 Lakhs. Sharing of infrastructure by the DTH operators may bring in more efficient use of scarce satellite resources and reduce the costs borne by the consumers. Adoption of the extant FDI policy will bring in more foreign investment into the country.

The DTH is operable on the pan-India basis. DTH sector is a highly employment-intensive sector. It directly employs DTH operators as well as those in the call centres besides indirectly employing a sizeable number of installers at the grass-root level. The amended DTH guidelines, with longer license period and clarity on renewals, relaxed FDI limits, etc., will ensure a fair degree of stability and new investments in the DTH sector along with employment opportunities.


Cabinet

[Press Release dt. 23-12-2020]

Hot Off The PressNews

Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has today constituted a committee to review “Guidelines on Television Rating Agencies in India” notified by the Ministry in 2014.

The present guidelines issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) on Television Rating Agencies in India were notified after detailed deliberations by the Parliamentary Committee, Committee on Television Rating Points (TRP) constituted by the MIB and recommendations of Telecom Regulatory Authority etc.

It has been found, based on the operation of the guidelines for a few years, that there is need to have a fresh look on the guidelines particularly keeping in view the recent recommendations of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), technological advancements/interventions to address the system and further strengthening of the procedures for a credible and transparent rating system.

A committee has been hereby constituted to study different aspects of the television rating system in India as they have evolved over a period of time.  The Committee shall carry out an appraisal of the existing system; examine TRAI recommendations notified from time to time, overall industry scenario and addressing the needs of the stakeholders and make recommendations for robust, transparent and accountable rating system through changes, if any, in the existing guidelines.

The composition of the Committee shall be as under:-

i)             Shri Shashi S. Vempati, CEO, Prasar Bharti                 …. Chairman

ii)            Dr Shalabh, Professor of Statistics,

              Department of Mathematics and Statistics,

              IIT Kanpur                                                                           ….Member

iii)           Dr. Rajkumar Upadhyay, Executive Director,

              C-DOT                                                                                  ….Member

iv)           Professor Pulak Ghosh, Decision Sciences

              Centre for Public Policy (CPP)                                         ….Member

The Terms of Reference for the Committee shall be as under:

  1. Study past recommendations made by various forums on the subject of television rating systems in India and matter incidental thereto;
  2. Study recent recommendations of Telecom Regulatory Authority on the subject;
  3. Suggest steps for enhancing competition in the sector;
  4. Review of the presently notified guidelines to see if the intended purpose(s) of issuing the guidelines have stood the test of time and has met needs of various stakeholders involve The lacunae, if any, shall be specially addressed by the Committee;
  5. Any issues related or incidental to the subject;
  6. To make recommendations on way forward for robust, transparent and accountable rating system in India; and
  7. Any other related issues assigned by MIB from time to time.

The Committee can invite any expert as a special invitee. The Committee will submit its report to the Minister for Information & Broadcasting within two months.


Ministry of Information & Broadcasting

[Press Release dt. 04-11-2020]

[Source: PIB]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: Navin Chawla, J., restrained from broadcasting a show titled ‘Bindas Bol’ on Sudarshan TV News channel.

Petitioner’s Counsel placed the video clip of the trailer that has been released by respondent 3 and 4 for the programme ‘Bindas Bol’ that was scheduled to be telecasted on respondent 3 TV Channel yesterday i.e. 28-08-2020 at 8.00 P.M.

Further, he submitted that the said trailer itself shows that the programme in question could be in complete violation of the Programme Code.

Reliance of Sections 5, 19 and 20(3) of the Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act, 1995 was placed.

Respondent 1 submitted that on several complaints been received by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting a notice for clarification was issued to respondent 3, which states as follows:

“This Ministry has received several complaints regarding a programme which is proposed to be broadcast on Sudarshan News TV from 28.08.2020 at 8.00 PM. In the promo of the proposed programme which is viral on Social Media Platforms, Shri Chavhanke for Sudarshan TV News Channel is raising concerns how people of a particular community have suddenly increased in IAS and IPS cadre, etc.

2. You are, therefore, requested to clarify on the above in the context of the Programme Code enshrined under Cable Television Network Rules, 1994 by return mail.”

Hence in view of the above stated, Court restrained respondent 3 and 4 from telecasting the programme titled ‘Bindas Bol’ till the next date of hearing.[Syed Mujtaba Athar v. Union of India, 2020 SCC OnLine Del 1091, decided on 28-08-2020]

Cabinet DecisionsLegislation Updates

The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for introducing the Cinematograph Amendment Bill, 2019 to amend to the Cinematograph Act, 1952. The Bill aims to tackle Films piracy by including the penal provisions for unauthorized camcording and duplication of films.

Details:

          In order to tackle the menace of film piracy, the Amendments provide for:

  • Insertion of new Section 6 AA for the prohibition of unauthorized recording

The following section shall be inserted after Section 6A of the Cinematograph Act, 1952.

6AA: “Notwithstanding any law for the time being in force, no person shall without the written authorization of the author be permitted to use any audio visual recording device to knowingly make or transmit or attempt to make or transmit or abet the making or transmission of a copy of a film or a part thereof.”

*The expression author shall have the same meaning as assigned to it in the clause (d) of Section 2 of the Copyright Act of 1957.

  • Amendment in Section 7 to introduce Penal Provisions for violating provisions of Section 6 AA:  In Section 7 of the principal Act, after sub-section 1 the following subsection (1A) shall be inserted:

“If any person contravenes the provisions of Section 6AA, he shall be punishable with an imprisonment for a term which may extend to 3 years or with fine which may extend to 10 lakh rupees or with both.”

          The proposed amendments would increase Industry revenues, boost job creation, fulfill important objectives of India’s National IP policy and will give relief against piracy and infringing content online.

Background:

The medium of cinema, the tools and the technology associated with it and even its audience has undergone radical changes over a period of time. There have also been many changes in the field of media and entertainment with the proliferation of TV channels and Cable network throughout the country, advent of new digital technology, apprehension of piracy, particularly release of pirated version of films on internet, causing huge losses to the film industry and Government exchequer.

Film industry has been demanding for a long time, that Government should consider Amendments to the law preventing camcording and piracy. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi made an announcement at the inaugural function of the National Museum of Indian Cinema at Mumbai on 19th January 2019 to tackle the menace of camcording and piracy. The Ministry of I&B piloted this matter for consideration of Union Cabinet.

[Source: PIB]

Cabinet

Picture Credits: mygov.in

Legislation UpdatesNotifications

The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting framed guidelines and criteria for Empanelment of suitable agencies and Rate fixation for advertisements on websites aimed to devise principles and instruments to streamline the release of Government advertisements on websites. The policy emphasizes that only websites which are owned and operated by companies that are incorporated in India will be considered for empanelment by Directorate of Advertising & Visual Publicity (DAVP). However, websites owned by foreign companies/origin can still be empanelled if such companies have branch offices which are registered and operating in India for at least one year.

The policy stipulates eligibility criteria for websites to get empanelled with DAVP which includes Unique Users (UU) per month data, which shall be cross-checked and verified by internationally accepted and credible third party tool that monitors website traffic in India. The policy requires that the websites shall run the Government ads through a Third Party Ad Server (3-PAS) engaged by DAVP for providing all relevant reports linked with online billing and will be used for verification of bills for payment. The Unique User Data of each empanelled websites will be reviewed in first week of April every year. The guidelines categorises the Unique User per month data of the websites into three categories which is mentioned below.

Category Unique Users per month
A 5 million and above
B 2 million to 5 million
C 0.25 million to 2 million

-Press Information Bureau