Gujarat Exclusive > youth > Netflix, Hotstar, AltBalaji content to be regulated by govt

Netflix, Hotstar, AltBalaji content to be regulated by govt

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The Union government has issued a notification bringing Over-the-Top (OTT) content providers such as Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Hotstar, Zee5 and AltBajaji under the ambit of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

Not just OTT platforms, but the regulations of the Union government now apply to online news ventures and news on social media platforms as well.

The notification signed by President Ram Nath Kovind provides that the decision has been taken in exercise of the powers conferred by clause (3) of Article 77 of the Constitution by amending the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961.

With this, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has the power to regulate policies related to news, audio-visual content and films available on online platforms.

Content on OTT platforms such as Netflix remained unregulated so far

So far, there was no law or an autonomous body that governed digital content. Several OTT platforms were serving violence, abusive language and sexual content, including nudity, in their content in the absence of rules regarding the same. There were several complaints over the content being served by the OTT platforms and its easy availability to the youth, especially those below the age of 18 years.

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The Press Council of India takes care of the print media, the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) monitors news channels and the Advertising Standards Council of India is for advertising. The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) takes care of films. However, it does not have the authority to monitor OTT content. Also, so far, there was no norm to ensure that OTT content needs certification from CBFC.

Last month, the Supreme Court sought the centre’s response on a petition for regulating over-the-top or OTT platforms by an autonomous body. The top court issued notices to the Centre, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and Internet and Mobile Association of India.

 

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