Article on laws and regulations of the Indian Media and Entertainment Industry


Over, the last few years, the Media and Entertainment Industry (M&E) has grown and gained significance in India. The Media and Entertainment Industry has gained in internet usage by suppliers and consumers. For effective regulation, various legislations with equally varying purposes have been enacted.

Legislations like Cinematograph Act,1952, The Cable Television Network Regulation Act,1995, The Information Technology Act,2000 is applicable for regulating content on Mediums of exhibition like cinema theatres, television and internet.

The first area of concern in the Mass & Entertainment sector is Right to free speech and censorship (The freedom of communication and expression through medium such as electronic media) Article 19 guarantees freedom of speech as an integral aspect of each individual’s right to self-development.

The second area of concern in the Media& Entertainment Sector is copyright infringement and trademark protection. The Copyright Act, 1957 provides copyright protection and registration of literary, drama, music, sound recording and artistic work, (The main purpose of the act is to prevent the abuse of monopolies provided by the copyrights and creating an equal balance between individual rights and public interest.

The third area of concern is piracy. Online piracy means stealing an owner’s property from the internet that has already been licensed and resulting in damage and loss. The Media& Entertainment industry is a continually innovating industry which is governed by multiple regulations. The key areas of concern- Right to free speech and censorship, Trademark infringement and Piracy are driving factors to ensure protection of right and establish fair rules of playing in the market.

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 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. There is some contractual aspect in the industry which are the base of its existence. Finance Agreements, Actors, Writer, Director and Crew Agreements, Agreement of Distribution, Literacy Acquisition Agreement. The television producers enter into contracts with the broadcasters in regard to the airing of their shows on the broadcaster’s channels.

These contracts consist of specific details like duration of shows, number of episodes, renew terms and conditions if the show succeeds. There is a contract also which is signed between broadcasters and the manufactures of the products which are to be advertised during the commercial breaks on the channel.  

The regulatory regime governing the media sector is contained under the Prasar Bharti Act 1990 and the Cable Networks Act 1995 and the rules framed thereunder. The institutional structures and government bodies regulating the sector include the Ministry of information and Broadcasting (MIB) and the Prasar Bharti.


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. 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. Media and press is an extremely powerful sector in a country and it is very important to aware the laws, regulations, and legal property regarding this sector along with the changing times of our nation.

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