SC discover to Centre on PIL to manage content material on OTT platforms

Tribune News Service
New Delhi, October 15

The Supreme Court on Thursday issued notice to the Centre on a PIL seeking setting up of an autonomous body to regulate over the top (OTT) platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime which provide paid film and television content to consumers via a high-speed Internet connection.

A three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde asked the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and Internet and Mobile Association of India to respond to a PIL filed by advocate Shashank Shekhar Jha.

The government had earlier told the court in Sudarshan News case that there was a need to regulate digital media in India.

Jha wanted the top court to direct the government to set up a body for monitoring of content on different OTT/streaming and digital media platforms.

“With cinemas, theatres unlikely to open anytime soon in the country, OTT/Streaming and different digital media platforms have surely given a way out for filmmakers and artists to release their content without being worried about getting clearance certificates for their films and series from the censor board,” Jha submitted.

He pointed out that there was no law or autonomous body governing the digital content to monitor and manage these digital content available to the public at large without any filter.

None of the OTT/Streaming platforms including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Zee5, and Hotstar have signed the self-regulation provided by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting since February 2020, the petitioner contended.

“The government is facing heat to fill this lacuna with regulations from the public and the judiciary; still the relevant government departments have not done anything significant to regularise these OTT/Streaming Platforms,” the petition read.

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