OTT Platforms, News portal, Content Control Under Central Govt purview, like Netflix, Amazon

OTT Platforms, News portal, Content Control Under Govt
OTT Platforms, News portal, Content Control Under Govt

OTT Platforms, News portal, Content Control Under Govt

The central government has included online news portals and all platforms providing online audio-visual content under the watch of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The effect will be that the government will monitor the content of over-the-top (OTT) platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hot Star. The central government has issued a notification in this regard on Wednesday.

After this decision, it is feared that the censor can be run on the content running on these platforms. Actually, there was no law on content on such platforms. Because of this, the government’s rights in removing content or films coming on these platforms were being limited.

News portal now under the Ministry of Information Broadcasting

Petitions were being filed in the courts and there was a demand to monitor the content of these platforms. After the decision of the Central Government, there has been debate on what will happen to the OTT platforms? According to a study report, OTT platforms will grow at an annual rate of 28% by 2024.

It is also feared that the Central Government will also get the right to ban the web series or film. It will now become law after notification and these platforms will remain under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. However, before that all OTT platforms were operating under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, but there was no regulation. According to an estimate, given the use of the OTT platform, its market revenue could be up to 4 thousand crores by the end of 2025. By the end of 2019 there were 17 crore people in India who were using the OTT platform.

OTT Platforms, News portal, Content Control Under Govt

What is OTT Platform?
OTT प्लेटफॉर्म क्या है?

OTT platform ie over-the top platform. They provide services for audio and video hosting and streaming in a way that first started as a content hosting platform. After this all these platforms started making content related to production, short film, feature film, documentary and web series.

All these platforms give different types of content to their users. Looking at users’ OTT platform experience, it is suggested to view different types of content with the help of artificial intelligence.

Most platforms provide content for free and some also charge annual / monthly fees. Such platforms create and stream premium content (content that is charged upon viewing) in association with select film production houses that have already made films.

Ministry of Information Broadcasting

What is the law for OTT platform?

There is no law nor regulations to regulate OTT platforms in India. It is a new medium of entertainment, which quickly flourished during the corona lockdown. TV, print and radio are covered under different laws, but the OTT platform is social media and digital media platform in a way, for which there is no regulation so far. The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) has a self-regulatory model regarding the OTT platform.

The Online Curated Content Providers (OCCP) proposed to form a digitally curated Content Compliant Council on the OTT platform. However, the proposal did not receive any attention at that time by the ministry. Neither accepted nor rejected.

The Center formed a 10-member committee to monitor online media. It had representatives from PCI, NBA and IBA apart from Union Secretaries. This committee can draft rules.

OTT platform Rules

Why does the government need monitoring on the OTT platform?

  • After enactment of the law, now all OTT platforms will be required to obtain a certificate from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B Ministry) before releasing new content. If the Ministry has any objection to the content, it can also ban it. However, the government has not yet issued guidelines on its behalf.
  • This move of the government may cause problems to the OTT platform and they can also register their opposition to it. Often films and documentaries related to the topic of politics are made on such platforms, then under the pressure of the government, it may have to remove such content. Now it will be necessary to see what the Ministry directs in this regard.
  • There is also a large number of foreign content on OTT, which is according to the rules of that country. They also contain adult content. In such a situation, it is possible that lovers of foreign content will either not be able to see it or will be able to see it after editing.
  • Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar on Wednesday indicated that a clear guideline could be issued in a day or two regarding regulations on OTT platforms. Only after the release of this guideline will it be known that the scissors of the sensor will run on the web series and other content, or the content will continue to be found without any hindrance, which is being found today.
  • According to a ministry official, online content code will be created on the line of TV content program code. There is a possibility that an online content monitoring wing will be created at the Electronic Media Monitoring Center.

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