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Indian Government to Regulate OTT and Digital News Platforms

The Central Government of India has brought Over The Top (OTT) and Digital News platforms under its jurisdiction. Now OTT platforms or video streaming service providers such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and others have come under the regulation of  Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

Until now there was no law to overlook the online content providers and media. Last year the Central Government had raised concerns over the fact that these providers are left unchecked and asked them to form a self-regulatory body on the lines of the News Broadcasters Standard Authority. Following this, eight video streaming services signed on a regulatory code that says,  the OTT platforms were prohibited to show content that deliberately and maliciously disrespects the national emblem or national flag, any visual or story line that promotes child pornography, any content that “maliciously” intends to outrage religious sentiments, content that “deliberately and maliciously” promotes or encourages terrorism and, lastly, any content that has been banned for exhibition or distribution by law or court.

Now the President of India has signed a new amendment in law, bringing  (VA) Digital / Online Media, (22A) Films and Audio-Visual programmes made available by online content providers and (22B) News and current affairs content on online platforms under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. According to I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar, this amendment has been brought as the OTT players failed to form a credible self-regulation method.

This could change the way we see OTT content in the near future. Shows and movies released via OTT platforms could be censored and cut wherever the government wants to. What do you think? Do you feel this is the right decision or feel this was uncalled for? Let us know in the comments below.


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