IAMAI urges I&B Ministry to seek public dialogue, consultative process for Draft Government Guidelines for OTT platforms


The Internet and Mobile Association of India [IAMAI], the 16-year-old association representing multiple players shaping the digital growth and destiny of India, has appealed to  the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to consider initiating a public dialogue by inviting comments on the draft guidelines for OTT Streaming Platforms, as was done in the case of Personal Data Protection Bill, Non-personal Data Governance Framework and numerous other rules and regulations.

It will be recalled that Minister of Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar had announced recently that  content guidelines for the functioning of OTT platforms are round the corner. It will also be recalled that inexplicably, on the issue of content guidelines for the OTT industry, the MIB did not consult IAMAI, which has been an active and robust industry body that seeks to effectively address the challenges facing the digital and online industry including mobile content and services, online publishing, digital entertainment and several other areas.

The industry has been working collectively to formalize transparent and stringent guidelines for Self-regulation, but has been completely perturbed by the lack of any consultative process administered with the stakeholders that usually proceeds such guidelines or regulations… we firmly believe that regulations arrived at through wide stakeholder consultations are much more effective and more easily implementable:  IAMAI

Also read: BIS seeking public participation to formulate Indian Standards in OTT services

The statement continues: “IAMAI is of the view that they have recently in consultation with the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting agreed to a Universal self-regulatory code that has been adopted by 17 of the leading Online Curated Content Platforms [OCCPs] in India, and have committed to its speedy rollout through an ’Implementation Toolkit’.

“The self-regulatory code, which is under implementation, effectively delivers on the goal of providing strong consumer protection, while delivering a solid foundation for content providers to build from,” IAMAI has said.

“Unfortunately, as things stand,” continues the statement, “as a responsible industry body and an ardent supporter of all Government policies and regulations, IAMAI is surprised to be not consulted on the draft guidelines for OCCPs that is being quoted in the media.

“Also, apart from the 17 OCC platforms that are signatories to IAMAI’s Universal Self-Regulation Code, there are producers, actors and other stakeholders who too should have been consulted before the guidelines are published.

“We firmly believe,” says the IAMAI, “that regulations arrived at through wide stakeholder consultations are much more effective and more easily implementable.”

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