Netflix, Hotstar, SonyLIV, ALT Balaji and other OTT platforms say yes to self-regulation
Online Curated Content Providers say no to censorship, and have voluntarily signed a self-regulatory Code of Best Practices under the aegis of the Internet and Mobile Association of India
Published - 18-January-2019
Online Curated Content Providers (OCCPs) including Netflix, Hotstar, Voot, Arre, SonyLIV and ALT Balaji have come together with a self-regulatory code to regulate video streaming content, according to media reports.
They have voluntarily signed a self-regulatory Code of Best Practices under the aegis of the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). The code establishes guiding principles for Online Curated Content (OCC) Providers to conduct themselves in a responsible and transparent manner and at the same time ensures that consumer interests are protected.
This code will ensure that the creative freedom is protected and outside regulation is avoided. The content providers will classify their content into separate and distinct categories according to the age groups.
According to the code, the following content will be self-regulated by the streaming service providers
- Content which deliberately and maliciously disrespects the national emblem or national flag
- Content which represents a child engaged in real or simulated sexual activities or any representation of the sexual parts of a child for primarily sexual purposes1
- Content which deliberately and maliciously intends to outrage religious sentiments of any class, section or community
- Content which deliberately and maliciously promotes or encourages terrorism and other forms of violence against the State (of India) or its institutions
- Content that has been banned for exhibition or distribution by online video service under applicable laws or by any court with competent jurisdiction
The code will also provide a mechanism for complaints redressal in relation to content made available by respective content provider. A separate complaint redressal department will be established by each service provider and it would be mandatory for the department to acknowledge a complaint in three working days. If any content is found violating the code, the same department will inform the complainant within 30 days about the steps being taken to redress the issue.
According to a statement released by the service providers, objectives of this code are to "empower consumers to make informed choices on age-appropriate content and protect the interests of consumers in choosing and accessing the content they want to watch, at their own time and convenience". The code also promises to "safeguard and respect creative freedom of content creators and artists and Nurture creativity, create an ecosystem fostering innovation and abide by an individual's freedom of speech and expression".