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How Will India’s Censor Board Censor A-Rated Trailers Online?

A trend we had pointed towards in January this year: More and more film producers in India are releasing uncensored, rather, A-Rated trailers online, and the country’s censor board appears to have taken note. While the movies themselves have an A-rating, there are instances when the trailers are not given the go-ahead for promotion on television, or changes are requested by the censor board.

The Hindustan Times reports that at least three films – Jism 2, Heroine, and Kya Super Cool Hain Hum, have released slightly more risque trailers online. The report, which has details of the cuts being made, quotes Censor Board chief Leela Samson as saying that “There is only a marginal change (in the number of ‘A’ certificates being handed out to promos). The board is deliberating on the issue of internet censorship”.

We’d asked then:

Why Not More? This does beg the question – given that there is such a massive gap between levels of censorship of traditional media (significant) and the Internet (none), why don’t content creators treat them differently? Why isn’t there a different online, uncensored version for films, music videos and trailers? Perhaps they don’t want to tempt censorship.”

Looks like both are being implemented.

How Will India’s Censor Board Censor A-Rated Trailers Online?

For the producers, it’s a no-brainer for more risque trailers to be released, whether online or on television. Most of the films collections are reported in the first week, and there is tremendous pressure on them to push for promotion. The Censor Board is in a tricky situation here – they cannot be seen as doing nothing about adult trailers online. It has two options:

– Either tell producers that they can’t release trailers online without approval, and apply the same standards to the Internet, that they apply to television.
– Haul up producers in case risque trailers are released/reported to them online.

What should they do? In our opinion, do nothing: websites like YouTube and Dailymotion have their own mechanisms by which they ask users to certify that they are above the age of 18, and while it is unlikely that an underage individual will choose not to watch the video, there’s already an ocean of adult content online that India’s censor board has no control over. They can’t censor everything.

Also, what will the censor board do if an uncensored video is “leaked” online to an Indian TMZ-like website? There’s no proof that it came from the producer. What if certain adult scenes from the film are leaked online, and these aren’t really trailers? The producers of the film can’t be hauled up for that. The Internet isn’t TV, there are work-arounds, and it’s time India’s regulators realized that.

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