OTT guidelines are almost ready, will be implemented soon: Prakash Javadekar

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Prakash Javadekar

Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Minister Prakash Javadekar during the Zero Hour said, “Guidelines and direction are almost ready (for regulating OTT content). It will be soon be implemented.”

Javadekar said a lot of suggestions and complaints on the regulation of OTTs have been received.  He informed the house that the government has received several representations regarding the content of programmes on OTT platforms.

The government has also held several consultations with OTT players and the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) impressing upon them the need for having an appropriate self-regulatory mechanism for content over OTT platforms, Javadekar informed.

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Mahesh Podda

Raising the issue through a Zero Hour mention, Mahesh Poddar of the BJP, said, “Although consumption of OTT platforms has increased due to lockdown and theatres being shut down, there is a worry about content targeting Indian values. The language used on these platforms reflects sexual discrimination in the form of verbal abuses. The Government should not delay in regulating these platforms.”

In his response to Poddar, the I&B Minister, said, “The issues raised by Poddar are important; every day we get many complaints and suggestions about regulating these platforms. The guidelines and directions are almost ready and will be implemented very soon.”

IAMAI has stated that it has finalised its self-regulation implementation toolkit which includes a set of guiding principles and procedures.

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Gourav Rakshit

Gourav Rakshit, IAMAI co-chair digital entertainment committee told The Economic Times,  “We will start the verification by March and April to ensure full compliance with the code by August.”

Earlier in 2020, various OTT platforms have signed the Universal Self-Regulation Code for OCCPs unveiled by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). These are Disney+Hotstar, Viacom 18,  Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, MX Player, Jio Cinema, ZEE5, Alt Balaji, SonyLIV and Lionsgate, Discovery Plus, Eros Now, Arre, HoiChoi, Hungama, Shemaroo, and Flickstree.

The goal of this industry-wide effort was to empower consumers with information and tools to assist them in making informed choice about viewing decisions for them and their families, while at the same time, nurturing creativity and providing creators the freedom to tell the finest stories.

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