The second session of the IPTV India Forum stressed on ‘Future Policies and Strategies for IPTV Services’. Both the I&B Ministry and the participants were concerned about user-generated content and how it can be regulated to abide by the law of the land. Participants were also concerned about who would be held responsible for illegal content provided.
Participants were of the opinion that interactivity and UGC were big issues and needed policing. It was a matter of concern for the Ministry and industry alike. Parag Kar, Senior Director, GA, Qualcomm, said, “Technology is a continuous and evolving process, and the regulation aspect is primarily driven by growth. We should not try to solve all problems and issues at one go.”
Roop Sharma, President, Cable Association of India, said that the same set of rules should be implemented in other platforms – be it wired or wireless. “There has to be a uniform taxation, uniform pricing and regulation for IPTV as it is for other platforms. There has to be a cross-media taxation system as well as interoperability of set-top boxes. It is the consumer who should be able to decide which free-to-air channels should be provided to them and not the end providers,” he pointed out.
Pavan Duggal, Chairman, Cyber Law Expert Committee, Assocham, spoke at length about who would be liable for the type of content provided. He said that the present IT Act, 2000 covered IPTV services as a segment and the law itself was complete with the definitions of computer system, data, information, network providers and others. Section 79 of the IT Act speaks about the liability of illegal content. Duggal also spoke about instances wherein the High Court had permitted an IP address to be sued, which is the place of origin of content. This had made it easy to book Internet related illegal activities.
Other participants at the session included V K Agarwal, Deputy Advisor, TRAI, who was an observer on behalf of the telecom regulatory body; Zohra Chatterji, Joint Secretary, Ministry of I&B; Surendra Lunia, CEO, HFCL Infotel; N P Singh, President, Reliance ADAG; T V Sriram, VP, Bharti Airtel; Bejon Misra, Executive Director, Consumers Voice; and Colonel R S Perhar, ISPAI.