• Chethan Machaknur

Government brings OTTs and online news portals under the purview of I&B Ministry

OTT platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ Hotstar, and other services offering "audiovisual programmes" as well as online news portals and sites offering "current affairs" content have been brought under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, according to a gazette order issued by the Government of India.

This comes after the Supreme Court sought the Centre's response last month regarding a petition for regulating OTT platforms by an autonomous body. At present, there is no law or autonomous body governing online content in India. The new regulation signed by President Ram Nath Kovind, will come into force with immediate effect, according to the order.

The signatories included Disney+ Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, MX Player, JioCinema, Eros Now, ALTBalaji, Arre, HoiChoi, Zee5, Viacom 18, Hungama, Shemaroo, Discovery Plus, Flickstree, SonyLIV, and Lionsgate.

IAMAI had said in a statement, "The goal of this industry-wide effort is to empower consumers with information and tools to assist them in making informed choices with regard to viewing decisions for them and their families, while at the same time, nurturing creativity and providing creators the freedom to tell the finest stories. By aiming to do what is best for both consumers and creators as guiding principles, the Code intends for India to be one of the most dynamic and fastest growing entertainment industries in the world."

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