According to a new amendment streaming services in India such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+ Hotstar will be regulated by the government. As per the latest jurisdiction, online news platforms will also be policed by the authority.
The latest amendment made to the government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules 1961 has been signed into law by the President of India Ram Nath Kovind. As per the latest notification the following sub-heading and entries shall be inserted:
“VA. DIGITAL/ONLINE MEDIA
22A. Films and Audio-Visual programmes made available by online content providers.
22B. News and current affairs content on online platforms.”.
As per the latest notification, all the digital content providers will be brought under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. In addition to this, the authority will regulate online audio as well as visual programmes including current affairs content. Before this Press Council of India was controlling print media; News Broadcasters Association is responsible for regulation television news channels while Advertising Standards Council of India looks after advertisements and Central Board of Film Certification regulates films. Until now these were no regulatory body assigned for monitoring digital visual and audio content of the digital content providers such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hotstar. Therefore, all the unfiltered content was available to the public at large. Nor any of the OTT platforms signed the self-regulation provided by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting since February 2020.
Last month the Supreme Court issued a notice to the Centre seeking a response on a PIL for regulating the OTT platforms in the country. The PIL was filed by advocates Shashank Shekhar Jha and Apurva Arhatia in the apex court seeking a regulatory to monitor and manage the content on OTT/Streaming and digital media platforms.
The Plea said “With cinemas theatres unlikely to open anytime soon in the country, OTT/Streaming and different digital media platforms have surely 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,”
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