NEWS: OTT Platforms and online content now under Government control

By Legal Wires 3 Minutes Read

OTT or Over-the-top platforms, which are audio and video hosting and streaming services which started out as content hosting platforms, but soon branched out into the production and release of short movies, feature films, documentaries, and web-series themselves.

Such OTT platforms include Netflix, Amazon Prime videos, Hotstar, etc. These platforms were earlier under the purview of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. Now the government has brought these OTT platforms under the ambit of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

In India, the regulation of such platforms has been widely debated and discussed. There are no laws or rules regulating OTT platforms as it is a relatively modern new medium of entertainment. Unlike television, print, or radio, which follow guidelines released by governments, OTT platforms, classified as digital media or social media, had little to no regulation on the choice of content they offered, the subscription rates, certification for adult movies, and others.

To regulate the content being made available on these streaming platforms, the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), a representative body of the OTT platforms had proposed a self-regulatory model. The Online Curated Content Providers or OCCPs had also proposed a Digital Curated Content Complaints Council along with the self-regulatory mechanism as a part of its proposed two-tier structure. The proposal, however, was struck down by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, which will now oversee these platforms.

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