The Central Board of Film Certification does not have the power to censor or certify content on the internet. However, the censor board’s Bengaluru office has been getting filmmakers to sign affidavits which will prevent them from releasing any portion of their films online prior to their certification, Bangalore Mirror reported .
By law, certification is only required to screen and telecast films and trailers in theatres and on television. According to a report in Bangalore Mirror, filmmakers have been complying with the Bengaluru censor board’s diktat for a month to avoid complications.
Regional Censor Officer DN Sreenivasappa agreed that the censor board does not have the right to dictate what can be shared on the internet, but added that TV channels often picked up uncertified footage of films that have been released online and then broadcast them. “When we ask film-makers how TV channels are telecasting uncertified film footage, they say they have taken it from YouTube,” he told the newspaper.
Kannada filmmaker Pawan Kumar, who crowdfunded and promoted his acclaimed debut feature Lucia entirely through social media, said, “It is like they are saying there is no censorship of Internet but are actually implementing it. There is no law backing it and I think as soon as people start talking about it, they will stop.”