Netflix, Hotstar & Other OTT Platforms to Self-Regulate Content 

The platforms have signed a code of conduct under the IAMAI.

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Hotstar and Netflix and other streaming platforms have signed a code to self-regulate content.

Major OTT platforms such as Netflix, Hotstar, Voot, Zee5, Arre, SonyLIV, ALTBalaji and Eros Now have signed a code of best practices to self-regulate content under the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). The principle idea behind the move is purportedly to strike a balance between creative freedom and protecting consumer interests.

According to a statement issued by the 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”.

The objectives of the code are to:

  • Empower consumers to make informed choices on age-appropriate content
  • Protect the interests of consumers in choosing and accessing the content they want to watch, at their own time and convenience
  • Safeguard and respect creative freedom of content creators and artists
  • Nurture creativity, create an ecosystem fostering innovation and abide by an individual’s freedom of speech and expression
  • Provide a mechanism for complaints redressal in relation to content made available by respective OCCPs

According to an earlier report by Reuters, the initial draft of the code sought to prohibit content that shows a child “engaged in real or simulated sexual activities”, is disrespectful of India’s national flag or encourages “terrorism”. It also said that companies which sign it will bar content “which deliberately and maliciously intends to outrage religious sentiments of any class, section or community. In addition, the signatory companies were to internally appoint a person, team or department to receive and address any “consumer-related concerns and complaints”.

The report also stated that though it helped to draft it, Amazon Prime Video has decided to refrain from signing the code as it was not a government-mandated regulation . In a statement the platform said that it was assessing the situation but believes “the current laws are adequate”.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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