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INTRODUCTION

 

            REGULATIONS ON OTT AND DIGITAL CONTENT


INTRODUCTION 

The government brought OTT platforms, or digital video streaming service providers like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and others, under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in the year 2020.



BACKGROUND:
The government had stated that these platforms needed to be monitored and that the platforms should establish a self-regulatory organization.

Eight video streaming services signed a self-regulatory code in January 2019 that established a set of guiding principles for content on these platforms, including the prohibition of five types of content:

  1.  Content that intentionally and maliciously mocks the national anthem or flag.

  2. . Any image or scenario that encourages children to engage in child pornography.

  3.  Any content that "intentionally" offends religious beliefs.

  4.  Content that supports or encourages terrorism "deliberately and maliciously."

 Any content that has been prohibited by law or a court from being exhibited or distributed. IAMAI is a not-for-profit industry body registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. Its mandate is to expand and enhance the online and mobile value-added services sectors

DCCC was launched by the Online Curated Content Providers (OCCP) in February 2020 to empower consumers to make informed choices on viewing content over OTT platforms and to also provide consumers with a complaints redressal mechanism.

It held that the model lacked independent third-party monitoring, did not have a well-defined code of ethics, and did not clearly enunciate prohibited content.



 LATEST REGULATION 


It covers "Digital/Online Media," which includes "online content providers' films and audiovisual programs" as well as "news and current affairs content on online platforms.

It will give the government control over these platforms, which have previously been uncontrolled due to the lack of law or independent body controlling digital material.

Online content producers are governed by the Information Technology Act of 2000, but they are not actively supervised by any Ministry, unlike print and broadcast media.

However, little information on how the government will regulate it is available. The Program Code of the Cable Television Network Regulation Act of 1995, which governs programming on television, might be used as a framework to create guidelines for online content.







REASONS BEHIND THE REGULATION :

The Ministry continues to receive complaints from the general public, highlighting the public's worries about uncontrolled content and the necessity to regulate it. On a petition to regulate OTT platforms, the Supreme Court gave notice to the Centre and the IAMAI in October 202

Because the Ministry currently regulates news and entertainment content on television and radio through statutory entities, it's critical that it also regulates digital content.

With the expansion of digital media and a considerable change in the audience from traditional media platforms to digital media, a proper monitoring framework for online news and content that is comparable to traditional media platforms is critical.


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