Govt. Cannot Regulate Netflix, Youtube, Amazon Prime; No Law Exists To Regulate Online Content

Karnataka HC denies regulation of Online content
Karnataka HC denies regulation of Online content

The popularity of online content platforms is increasing day by day, but there have been issues regarding the regulation of the content that is shown on the OTT channels. However, the Karnataka High Court has declared that it is not possible to regulate the content that is streamed on internet platforms. 

Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Hotstar have seen a considerable surge in popularity since their launch. But we cannot deny that the content that is streamed on these platforms is not quite appropriate for people of all age groups.

The high court of Karnataka has declared that the regulation of content that is broadcasted on the internet media cannot be regulated under the Cinematograph Act of 1952. 

Read on for more details!

Karnataka HC Denies Regulation of Online Content

A PIL (public interest litigation) petition was filed by Padmanabh Shankar, a resident of Bengaluru, to have the content on OTT channels regulated. 

The petitioner identified the major issue of children being affected due to unregulated content broadcasted transmitted through these channels. He asked the court to declare that films, serials and other multimedia content should be certified under the Cinematograph Act, until a separate legislation is in place to regulate them. 

As per reports, the High Court has remarked that films, serials and other multimedia contents transmitted, broadcast or exhibited through internet platforms, like YouTube, Google India, online streaming platforms like Hotstar, Amazon Prime, Netflix and Alt Digital, cannot be regulated under the Cinematograph Act, 1952.

Legal Issues For Regulation of Online Content

A division bench Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Mohammad Nawaz presided over the matter, and acknowledged the issue here. The bench also hoped that the Union Government will find a solution to the unregulated content. 

There have been many instances where there have been legal issues owing to the controversial content on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar and other channels. In recent history, the Delhi HC had responded to a petition which accused Netflix and other channels of broadcasting vulgar content on their platform. 

The Supreme Court had also issued a notice to the Centre, over the regulation of the content streamed by these apps. 

Moreover, Union minister of information and broadcasting Smriti Irani had also discussed the necessity of regulation of the news and other media on the internet. The rate at which rumours, fake news and hoax content are going around the internet was the main reason behind this.

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