SC Notice To Govt On Plea To Regulate Netflix, Disney+ Hotstar, Others

The Supreme Court issued a notice to the government, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) in a petition to regulate over-the-top (OTT) platforms by an autonomous body.

A bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde hearing a PIL filed by advocate Shashank Shekhar Jha, sought directions from the government to constitute an autonomous body or a board for monitoring and filtering content as well as regulating videos on various OTT platforms in India.

“OTT/Streaming and different digital media platforms have given a way out for filmmakers and artists to release their content without being worried about getting clearance certificates for their films and series from the censor board… Government departments have not done anything significant to regularise these OTT/Streaming Platforms,” the plea urged.

As many as 15 Indian streaming services and digital content companies including Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Disney Hotstar, Zee5, Viacom 18, MX Player, Jio Cinema, Eros Now, ALTBalaji, Arre, HoiChoi, Hungama, Shemaroo, Discovery Plus and Flickstree had agreed to adopt Universal Self-Regulation Code for Online Curated Content Providers (OCCPs) in India last month.

Recently, the ministry of information and broadcasting advised the IAMAI to look at other self-regulatory models since the government does not support the current one. The current model does not have third party monitoring options, lacks a well-defined code of ethics, and also gives an unclear picture of content prohibition.

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