Netfix, Amazon Prime Ban: Delhi HC Dismisses Petition To Ban Or Regulate OTTs in India
Govt. has admitted that they cannot ban or regulate OTTs in India
Heartful thanks and regards to the Delhi High Court, for protecting freedom of choice and freedom of expression in India.
In a major victory for the advocates of freedom and creativity in India, Delhi HC has dismissed the petition to ban and regulate Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other OTTs (Over the top) players.
What did Delhi HC say? And who had petitioned such a ban?
Delhi HC: Govt. Cannot Ban and Regulate Netflix, Amazon Prime
An NGO called Justice for Rights had petitioned before Delhi High Court against OTTs operating in India, specifically Netflix and Amazon Prime.
The petition was to ban and/or regulate the content which is being shown by these online streaming services.
The petition has singled out shows such as Sacred Games, Game of Thrones, Vikings, and Spartacus, and had claimed that these shows portray ‘vulgarity, religiously forbidden and morally unethical’, which is not suitable for Indians.
Delhi High Court on Saturday quashed the petition.
As per the verdict, online streaming services cannot be regulated or banned in India, as the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting have no rights to do so.
Delhi High Court dismisses a plea seeking a ban on online platforms including Netflix and Amazon Prime till the regulations are framed. The petition claimed that the content on such platforms is inappropriate, sexually explicit, religiously forbidden and legally restricted. pic.twitter.com/dF3PetQK29
— ANI (@ANI) February 8, 2019
The verdict was delivered by the Bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V K Rao.
What Did The Govt. Say On This Petition?
The petition to ban Netflix and other OTTs were filed by Justice for Rights Foundation in the month of October last year.
In November, the Delhi High Court asked the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting whether there exists any provision in the Indian constitution to ban or regulate these OTTs, and their content.
While hearing the case, Indian Govt. stated that there exists no such rules to regulate and ban OTTs in India, and this formed the base of the verdict.
Self-Regulation By Netflix, Prime, Hotstar and Others
Such petition to ban and regulate content on OTTs due to ‘inappropriate content’ has been filed before as well, and across India.
In order to avoid such scenario, online streaming companies have decided to create their own ‘Code of Ethics’, and if any content streamed violates the rules of these ‘ethics’, then maybe self-regulate the content.
Infact, even as Netflix denies that they will censor their content, ever, Amazon Prime has been censoring content since 2016, not only in India but everywhere.
Netfix had informed us that the “consumer will have control over what they want to watch and when they want to watch. Netflix will not censor the content.”
So, for time being, be assured that there won’t be any Govt imposed ban or regulation of content on OTTs such as Netflix, Amazon, Hotstar, and others.
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