The system if 'Mass Media' vary from place to place all around the world in
accordance to political, economical and regional climate of the area it is
covering. When we look into the Indian media it has its own perspective which
states that media is free but on the other hand is always subjected to certain
restrictions which seems to be reasonable by our government under the name of
its constitution. But the continuous globalisation and privatisation of this
sector has entirely changed its position currently in our nation.
The Indian media and entertainment sector consists of various sub sectors under
its folds which can be classified as television, cinema and prints. The
regulatory body which governs the media and entertainment sector in India is
embodied in the Cable Networks Act 1995
, and Prasar Bharti Act 1990
government bodies which regulate this sector includes the Ministry of
Information and Broadcasting
and the Prasar Bharti
. These are the structures
which has the authority to issue guidelines, policies, regulations and to grant licences in order to broadcast in the media.
Indian Film/ Cinema
The Indian film industry has been divided and further sub-divided into various
regional sectors as the country is culturally diverse and there are audiences
from all the sectors who want to be represented in the Big Screen
. The Indian
film industry is run by various production houses, companies who are responsible
for financing, casting, scripting the said movies.
Organizations Looking After Rights Of The Film Producers
The main organizations which look after the rights of the producers in the film
industry are as follows:
The Indian Film Industry also consists of various independent associations and
organisations which safeguard the interests of its members, they are as follows:
- Indian Motion Pictures Producers Association
- Film Makers Combine
- Association Of Motion Pictures and Television Programme
- Cine Artists Association
- Theatre Owners Association
- Distributors Association
- Indian Motion Pictures Distributors Associations
Legislations Regulating The Indian Film Industry
The legislations which regulate the Indian film industry are as follows:
- The Copyright Act of 1957, which defines
- The various rights which exists in the copyright of a film.
- Rights of the author of the film
- The term/time period of the copyright
- The process of assignment of a licence for the copyright.
The Copyright Act of 1957 specifically sets out the regulations on the
infringement of the copyright of a movie/film, and it is considered as one of
the most crucial laws in the media and entertainment industry.
- The Cinematograph Act of 1952, which includes
- Provisions for licensing and certifying the cinematography of films.
- And also includes the regulation of exhibition by means of
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) is the structure which is
liable for administering rules and laws which relate to the information and
broadcasting if press and films in the media industry.
The Film sector of MIB consists of:
- National Film Archives of India
- National Film Development Corporation
- Central Board of Film Certification.
For a film to be certified for public exhibition the central board of film has
to cover certain criteria such as the film which is to be released publically
- Be against the sovereignty and integrity of the nation
- Be against the security of the nation
- Create international problems or misunderstanding among nations
- Be against the public morality, decency and order.
After fulfilling these criteria the films are certified as per section 5(B) of
the Cinematograph Act of 1952.
Contractual Aspects Of The Film Industry
The contractual aspect of this industry is quite the base of its existence.
various kind of contractual aspect can be classified as follows :
- Finance Agreements
These are the kind of agreements which contains the investors as the parties to
the agreement as they are the ones who are financing the project in order to be
made. These agreements include various banks and financial institution and also
other co-producers who interested to invest their money in the making of the
- Actors, Writer, Director and Crew Agreements
These kinds of agreements are quite popular in nature and also one of the
important agreements in this sector. These agreements are the kind in which
artists and author seek for copyright for their work and contribution in order
to get paid in form of royalties.
- Agreement of Distribution
This agreement conducts the public showcase of the film around the world which
commonly conducted between the producers who distributes the rights of the film.
- Literary Acquisition Agreement
This agreement detects whether the acquired script is original, adapted or
translated from a previously existing work. This is an essential agreement since
the producers are required to know the origins of the script they are
Areas Of Litigation
The common areas of litigations in the film sector are as follows:
- Claims of Intellectual Property rights regarding the ownership of rights
are quite common in this sector.
- Trademark infringement which includes producers using the production
companies names and logos which are previously owned by other companies.
- Piracy issues which occurs due to the existence of:
- Huge number of low income group
- High ticket prices
- Easy access of digital gadgets and recording devices
A study which was held by the Motion Picture Distribution Association (MPDA) has
ranked India as one of the top 10 countries which leads in Online Piracy .
- Censorship which is governed by the Central Board Of Film Certification
has the authority to censor a part or whole film and often certain
injunctions are also soughted in order to stop a film to be released due its
Indian Tv/Broadcast And Internet
Indian television channels are run by a public service provider known as
'Doordarshan' and 'Prasar Bharti' which is one of the largest public service
broadcaster which has been appointed by the Government of India.
Legislations Regulating The Tv Industry
The laws which regulate the television sector of the media industry  are as
- Cable Television Network Rules of 1994
This act sets the procedures regarding the registration of the cable in India.
This act also sets the programme and advertising code which is to be followed by
the cable networks.
- Cable Television Network (Regulation) act of 1995
This act gives authorities the right in regards to cable tv networks and
acquiring fines when certain regulations are not followed.
- Other Laws:
- The Prasar Bharti Act 1990
- The Broadcasting Bill of 2007
Contractual Structures For The Television Industry
Contracts Between Broadcasters And Producers
The television producers enter into contracts with the broadcasters in regard to
the airing of their shows on the broadcaster's channels. These contracts
consists of specific details like duration of shows, number of episodes, renew
terms and conditions if the show succeeds .
Contract Of Advertisemnt
It is the contract which is signed between broadcasters and the manufactures of
the products which are to be advertised during the commercial breaks on the
Contract Between Dth Operator And Broadcaster
This is the kind of contract which is between broadcaster and DTH platform
operators in which the broadcasters come to an agreement with the operators in
order to provide their channels in their platform on a subscription.
Areas Of Litigation
The main legal issue that the television industry faces is the Infringement of
Intellectual Property Rights
. This infringement includes:
- Copying concept of shows
- Copy of script or storylines
There also includes other legal issues regarding 'Infringement of Broadcasting
Rights', such as if a broadcasting company has already acquired rights to a
certain show any other broadcasting company cannot air that particular show on
their channels without paying any royalty fees to the agreement holder.
There are versatile laws and regulations which are there in existence in order
to have a proper mechanism through which the media and the entertainment
industry can flourish in this country. The legal regulations and laws which are
related to the mass media have been there in existence from the beginning of
time. During the British rule in India, many such legal rules and regulations
related to press and media were established and even after the Independence of
our country those laws were utilised and further modernised and improved.
Hence to conclude media and press is an extremely powerful sector in a country
and it is very important to be aware of the laws, regulations, and legal
properties regarding this sector along with its continuous modernisation along
with the changing times of our nation.
Written By: Amrita Ghosh
, Institution- KIIT School of Law
This Article emphasises on the Indian media and entertainment sector, it deals
with its regulatory bodies, law and regulations and various sub sector which are
directly or indirectly affected by it. It gives a detailed study on its
evolution and its basic legal requirements for its day to day functioning.