Netflix, Prime, Hotstar Can Be Regulated Like Cable TV; But Support For Self-Regulation Rises
The discussion of regulating OTT platforms has been going on for a long time and the government is looking at a new model for regulation of content.
Read on to find out all the details!
OTT Content To Be Regulated As Per Cable TV
As per new reports coming in, the central government is designing guidelines for regulating OTT platforms. Senior government officials have revealed these guidelines will be primarily be borrowed from the programme code prescribed under the Cable TV Network Rules, 1994.
The Union Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has been empowered to take action against channels for violations of the code. The code includes guidelines for the content that should or should not be aired.
The content on the streaming platform is not being regulated as of now and is under discussion for quite a long time and every time any offensive content is streamed, a controversy blows up frequently.
A group of OTT platforms also came together under the I&B Ministry last year to design a self-regulatory code; it was also signed by 15 services in 2020.
Government sources have revealed that the content code is being finalized. Discussions about making some of the provisions specific to OTT are being conducted. Some examples of these include designating age classifications, providing content description, or other access control measures.
As per the sources, the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeiTY) will be involved as well to make sure that OTT platforms follow the guidelines as the OTT content is streamed over the internet. However, it hasn’t been clarified that the guidelines that will also apply to online news.
What Does Cable TV Code Say?
The programme code has been laid under Rule 6 of the Cable TV Network Rules, 1994.
As per the code, the programme that offends “good taste or decency, contains criticism of friendly countries, contains attack on religions or communities or visuals or words contemptuous of religious groups or which promote communal attitudes” should not be streamed on a cable service.
It also states that programmes should not contain anything obscene, defamatory, deliberate, false and suggestive innuendos and half-truths, or what is likely to encourage or incite violence or contains anything against maintenance of law and order, or which promotes anti-national attitudes.