The Center told the Supreme Court today that it is considering “some action” to regulate OTT or video streaming platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney + Hotstar and Sony Liv.
A bank consisting of Chief Justice SA Bobde and Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, who initially believed that the petitioner should approach the government for the remedy, asked the government to respond within six weeks to the request for OTT (streaming) regulation by a autonomous organ.
Initially, Additional Attorney General Sanjay Jain said the Center is considering some action with regard to regulating OTT (streaming) platforms.
The Chief Justice of India wanted to know from Mr Jain what the government’s action would be and asked him to file the response within six weeks, marking the case with the pending petition.
The Supreme Court had issued notices to the central government, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and the Internet and Mobile Association of India on October 15 last year.
Advocates Shashank Shekhar Jha and Apurva Arhatia advocate also sought an appropriate board / institution / association to monitor and manage content on various OTT / Streaming and digital media platforms.
OTT / Streaming and various digital media platforms have certainly provided a way out for filmmakers and artists to release their content without having to worry about getting their movies and series approval certificates from the censorship council, the plea said.
However, at present, there is no law or autonomous body regulating the digital content to monitor and manage this digital content, and this content is made available to the general public without filtering or screening, he said.
Lack of legislation for OTT / streaming platforms becomes more evident every day and every new case filed on these grounds. The government faces heat to fill this gap with public and judicial regulation; nevertheless, the relevant government services have done nothing major to regularize these OTT / streaming platforms, the plea said.
None of the OTT / Streaming platforms, including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Zee5 and Hotstar, has signed the self-regulation by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting since February 2020, it said.
Earlier, the ministry had said in a separate case against the highest court that there is a need for regulation of digital media and that the court can first appoint a committee of persons as amicus before adopting guidelines regarding the regulation of hate speech in the media.
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